Century Of Broken Peace:
A very strange map that came to me when I was contemplating several of the mythos I have been devising. I used what I have already established and then came up with this. Partially inspired by “The Peshawar Lancers”, B.Munro/Quantumbranching' “Vampire World reimagined” and RvBOMally' “Gaslight”.
The end of the world as it had been known came somewhat unexpectedly, even for the creatures that changed it. No one knows what truly caused it but an important alignment of certain universal forces was disrupted by another as of yet unknown force that set in motion a chain of events that took countless millennia to have an effect on the Earth and the creatures that paid attention to it. As the wave of energies washed over the Earth the creatures that had hidden, biding their time for the perfect moment to strike found their hands forced as the energy destroyed their carefully laid plans.
The New Gods that had been slowly gathering power in the Void were forced down to Earth. They forcibly possessed the bodies of mortals as quickly as they could and unleashed as much power as possible. They targeted populated areas and soon enough they had overrun much of Europe and North America. However they were too weak to take the entire planet or even most of it and found they faced resistance. In their weakened states they found that the humans and other inhabitants of Earth could resist them and that their influence was curtailed by it. However as they gained followers and territory their strength grew and humanity began to flee. The New Gods found themselves in a world that had only begun their Industrial Revolution, thousands of humans had abandoned the open rural regions and had flocked into crowded cities. There they were easier prey and many fell under the sway of the fledgling deities.
As Europe fell the people fled to their colonies by boat, rail or foot. The New Gods were busy subjugating the industrialised north and so a mass exodus took place. Those who had no colonies but did have strength forced their way south as well, slaughtering as they went. Massive refugee fleets took to the sea and were joined by pirates, warlords carved out their own tyrannies, many colonies tried to rebel against the Europeans but failed. Anarchy reigned before a new status quo began to settle. The new global situation was finally stabilised when humanity discovered a means to resist the New Gods. Ancient powers, whether born of the now extinct Old Gods, the Earth spirits that rebelled the control of the New Gods or from other more alien creatures, were acquired by the remaining human empires and the advance of the New Gods was halted.
However the fighting does not stop. Border skirmishes continue, monsters occasionally go on a rampage, the New Gods fight amongst themselves and even the human powers struggle against one another. History happens.
The largest and (theoretically) most powerful of the human empires is the British Empire, now known colloquially as the Anglo-Indian Empire. The British fled to their colonial empire in Africa, Australasia and above all Asia. Establishing a capital on the subcontinent they went on to put down various uprisings across their empire and flush out any supernatural creatures that had emerged along with the New Gods. It was a difficult period that tested the entire empire and killed thousands. However what emerged was a stronger and more united empire. Most of the Royal Family were killed when the New Gods overran the north but one of the more distant members of the Royal Succession list managed to make it on a refugee ship and made himself apparent on the trip to Capetown. Shortly afterwards he was whisked to Calcutta where he was put on the throne to the agreement of the rest of the empire.
Today the British dominate the other human powers with the largest economy and military on the planet even if it is through sheer volume. The integration of the distinctive cultures of the empire was difficult and there is major fear in the whiter settler colonies that the people in India have gone native. However there have been a number of cultural reactions in India that have preserved some form of Anglican culture despite the ubiquity of Indian culture. The Church has also preserved much of the whiter British identity in India as well and tries to also recruit as many native Indians as possible. Culture in India is still a very mixed bag of traditionally British features combined with various different features from across the Indian subcontinent. The wide diversity of Indian religions (Barring the most disturbing) are now openly worshipped though most Muslims are watched warily. In an age of dark powers and cruel Gods many apocalyptic cults have emerged and are a regular annoyance for everyone who doesn't follow them. Of course the truly threatening cults are rooted out the minute anyone becomes suspicious of them and there is a very large special police force that specialises in hunting down the supernatural. They often cooperate with the more mundane secret police as well if their services are required for particularly disturbing cases. Industry is truly extensive in India and the sheer volume of products produced has helped keep the Empire in power. Parliament is now open to Indians as well as European elected officials but the Royal Family have once again gained power thanks to the actions of some truly talented individuals. The franchise was extended to everyone after the Caste System was eventually abolished about 20 years ago. However the Caste System continues in a rather informal fashion across most of the subcontinent and even the British have adopted it as their class system evolved.
The other centres of the Empire are South Africa and Australia. South Africa received a lot of refugees which bolstered the white population but also assimilated the Boers. They have since integrated many of their Africans much like India has their indigenous population. However their culture is more noticeably British with a lot of other European influences as well as the arriving fashions from India. Despite integrating their Africans the regional parliament is still dominated by white politicians. However since money matters more often than skin colour for candidacy more African politicians are becoming apparent. South Africa is also responsible for handling the numerous dependencies and protectorates that the British control on the continent. A lot of money is being invested in infrastructure so that the resources of Africa can be properly exploited. Australia on the other hand is rather different. They have the most unadulterated European population and culture with a clear white majority. This has put them at odds with the more hybridized cultures of Africa, India and elsewhere in the empire. They are also the most conservative portion of the empire and often cause trouble with certain Imperial decrees and decisions in the Imperial Parliament that concern racial and cultural relations. However the influx of Malaysian, Indonesia and Chinese refugees into the continent has caused some consternation in the ruling elite and there are some issues over how it may be handled. These two viceroyalties and the other territories are mostly held together by a shared Imperial identity that is no longer clearly British but is rather distinct and encompasses all of the regions.
The British have a diverse variety of methods for combating the New Gods and the other vile abominations that have emerged over the centuries. Dedicated corps of psychics, mediums, witch-hunters and inquisitors all work to discover and exterminate any supernatural threat to the empire. Entire organisations have been created in order to study the monsters so that they might be more easily destroyed and hundreds have spent their entire lives attempting to decipher the impossible natures of these creatures, often at the expense of their sanity, health or lives. There is the rumour that there is a minor deity chained beneath Calcutta that was bound to the service of the monarchy and the empire long ago that is only unleashed during the most dire of threats. Then there are further rumours of other creatures that have reached out to the Empire, offering assistance and promising power. Though such temptations have been refused before by the government, these entities appear far more human, far more understandable and far more sincere. A lot of people who support dealing with them attribute the marked decrease in supernatural attacks across most of the Empire as evidence of their sincerity. Only time will tell us what the results of these meetings will be.
The United States was able to pull through despite the tremendous losses to the Grey King and the White Justicar. A South still recovering from Civil War was soon flooded by refugees from Canada and the North and reconstruction quickly became a desperate attempt at fortification. Like the rest of humanity they were able to discover a means of combating the eldritch creatures but they lost a lot in doing so. Central America was fairly easy to conquer and assimilate but most of Mexico remained free of their control and their attempts at conquest merely served to unite the various Mexican warlords that had emerged against them and form a new Mexican state.
The United States is an oligarchic state dominated by corporate trusts and robber barons that control the now weak Senate. Presidents are often chosen by the rich families before elections and ballots are rigged accordingly. Voting is given to the top 60% of the population that are assuredly white. The darker members of the population are often not recognised as citizens of the USA and after the first few incursions from the Caribbean by the Wave Rider, most of the remaining black population was deported out of fear. Despite the best efforts of cultural purists the USA has been forced to accept a lot of Hispanic culture and is a Catholic majority nation. There has been an immense Christian revival thanks to the rise of the New Gods and churches are incredibly important centres of power in every community. Witch hunts are very common as the slightest suspicion of (illegal) occult activity can lead to massive reactions from a local populace. The fledgling Ku Klux Klan quickly grabbed a hold of the anti-occult sentiment and actually discovered means to combat them especially once the Wave Rider began attacking. They are now a very respectable organisation in much of the USA now and conduct their own private hunts against the supernatural as well as the non-white races. Overall society has become rather paranoid is actually far more militant as well. Between the army, churches and corporations American society is very conservative, regimented and authoritarian. The state often encourages people to spy on their neighbours in case of any possible occult activity or general treachery and there is a lot of propaganda around. The ruling corporations also endorse consumerism of a sort and there is a general encouragement to buy the latest product they have produced.
Life in the new United States is very difficult. The Central American territories are run in a very colonial manner due to the threat of the Wave Rider and most cities have become massive fortresses. In the north in what used to be the American Deep South, the area is indisputably run by the military and sees constant activity as soldiers are brought up to fight the horrors that descend from the North whether it is the animalistic hordes of the Grey King, the zealous fanatics of the White Justicar or the undead legions of the Last Citizen. Various regions of the former USA are now independent states that have become vassals of the new United States in a desperate attempt to survive. Massive rail networks transport labour, soldiers and material back and forth across the United States especially since the Wave Rider made sea travel in the Gulf of Mexico so dangerous. American cities are industrial complexes devoted to the eternal war effort, workers slave away in the factories producing weapons and consumer goods whilst the wealthier citizens live out in the countryside away from the grime and smog of the cities. Even these country estates are heavily fortified for you can never know what is hiding in the wilderness. In the more rural settlements people often disappear and there are stories of creatures wandering the forests of the nation watching their victims as they lose their minds before striking. The American Secret Service spearhead the United States anti-occult missions and handle all official dealings with the inhuman though they are willing to cooperate with other more private groups in the United States if they feel the necessity. The USA trust far more in science than the supernatural to solve their problems and they have entire divisions of scientists devoted to developing new technology that can combat the monsters and other foul entities.
China received the strangest experience of all. The creatures that emerged in East Asia cut a devastating swathe of destruction before quickly turning on one another. Millions were forced to flee but the Chinese state remained more or less intact, at least when compared to many of their neighbours. The Chinese state was able to rally an eclectic mix of different methods to combat the supernatural and picked them off as they fought one another. Soon enough the vast numbers of Chinese refugees we're joined by armed soldiers and the smaller nations of South East Asia were absorbed into the new empire. The beginning of the Japanese incursions as well as the attacks by the followers of the Abyssal Gatekeeper finally tested the new bonds of the Empire and showed they were strong.
The Ming Empire is probably the strangest of the human world powers. They are enthusiastic industrialists and have used their extensive labour base to build as much industry as they can as quickly as they can. Today they are massive producers of goods and can even compete with the British for production volume. China is famous for creating a number of goods from the more mundane products to exotic ones that contain ingredients taken from occult creatures all the way up to illegal texts and items that have been known to attract the unnatural. Like the United States the Chinese government is dominated by the massive and powerful corporations. Despite their Emperor supposedly possessing absolute power these wealthy industrial oligarchs manage to keep the monarchy wrapped up in traditional protocol and misinformation that has allowed them to keep their strong grip on government and policy. Like the old nobility, many of whom are in the new industrial upper class, these oligarchs are united by a strange complex of traditions, agreements and intermarriage alliances. Chinese is the dominant culture and language but the various other ethnicities of the Empire still exist and often speak Chinese in public and their own languages in private whilst preserving their own cultures. Public witch hunts are usually discouraged and the government often prefer to encourage their citizens to rely on government approved anti-occult agencies. A number of secret cults do exist that specialise in hunting the supernatural. However they will recruit new members in secret as they are often associated with the dangerous supernatural cults and will be swept up by police forces and purged during actual witch hunts.
Despite their encouragement of Chinese in public activities the Ming Empire is tolerant of the other cultures and races under their rule. The oligarchs that rule over the government come from all sorts of backgrounds, races and languages and the bureaucracy will take in whatever talent it can find wherever they can find it. The upper classes will also encourage whatever aspects of culture they like and entire fashions have been created on a whim. The mixture of so much culture along with the inclusion of certain esoteric or even unnatural features has made the Ming Empire a very vibrant and strange place for most visiting foreigners. Chinese cities are massive industrialised complexes with large collections of factories belching smoke and toxins over the packed high rise buildings that house the workers. The architecture is still very traditional which is far more apparent in the houses of the wealthier citizens who live in either the gated communities at the cores of the cities which are separated from the newer sections by green spaces. Many wealthier citizens will also buy property on the rural fringe of the cities where they can escape the smog of the city interior. The more rural settlements of the Empire will commonly keep charms and fetishes that are believed to hold off the monsters and other creatures that assail them. China also maintains large corps of supernatural agents that hunt down the monsters within China's borders. These groups use far more occult based techniques and equipment compared to the more technologically dependant British and American agencies.
The Ottoman Empire almost collapsed under the attacks of the Highlord and various other creatures and whilst they and several other nations attempted to restore order several territories broke away. The Egyptian Sultanate is the greatest of these breakaway states and has risen into a great power status of sorts. Egypt is a conservative constitutional monarchy that still allows the Sultan some power in government. However the rest of the government is instead ruled by the large and complex bureaucracy. A canal at Suez provides Egypt with a lot of trade and revenue as they control the gates and choose which shipping gets through and which doesn't. However Egypt is a land beset by troubles. There have been countless reports of strange wiry beings that appear vaguely like men but possess numerous chitinous and tentacle-like limbs hidden with their heavy dark cowls. They move through empty spaces and watch the people. Few that have tried to approach them have survived and those that have returned as empty husks, their organs pulped and forced out of every possible orifice. In other areas the dead rise in a similar manner to those that follow in the wake of the Eternal Crusade and will assault small settlements and groups of people.
The French fled Europe in droves and we're joined by Italians, Spanish and even other Europeans. The fledgling colonies in Algeria we're overrun by refugees and it did not take long before the French began to expand into the rest of North Africa and beyond. A balance was eventually struck between the European diaspora and the indigenous Arabs and other Muslim cultures. Today the French Empire of Algiers is a very strange nation. Many Europeans have mostly gone native, adopting many Muslim customs and styles of dress though very few have actually converted to Islam. The language is now a melange of mostly French with some loan words from Spanish, Italian and Arabic with a sprinkling of other languages here and there. France also has few issues over race or religion when it comes to jobs and it is possible for an African Muslim to make it in to the upper echelons of society and government so long as they speak French. They are a constitutional monarchy but it is a very conservative system and whilst the Emperor must submit to the law he is often the one who writes them as well. However there are still a lot of problems in the Empire. The Veil of Dust rules over a vast area of the Sahara Desert that is within French territory and often sends massive sandstorms as well as great armies of his Shifting Sands that can swallow entire cities if the correct authorities are unable to deter them. Due to this threat the French have had to resort to far more supernatural prevention methods which can draw some suspicion from other powers. A recent problem is a growing issue within the Royal Family as the heir apparent has recently converted to Islam and his staunchly Catholic father now faces a dilemma over whether he should allow him to succeed him or not.
The Hapsburgs moved South into Italy when the Highlord overran Germany and began to attack the surrounding nations. The fledgling Italian kingdom was quickly swamped by German refugees and the Hapsburg Family quickly took the opportunity to restore order with what troops remained loyal to them. In order to hold off the Highlord the Hapsburgs had to make a few deals and their empire is now a very strange and often unnatural place of both visitors and its residents. Strange humanoid figures can be seen stalking the streets in the darker hours of the day and night and the Diet building has not accepted new members for decades now but still sends decrees out. The Hapsburg Family still have some say in government but the mysterious Diet has been running the nation for so long that they are merely a formality. However the Hapsburgs still remain secure in their place for if they disappear then the Deal will be invalid.
Brazil is a rising power that profited from the influx of fleeing Europeans. They are still ruled by an Emperor but the landowners now possess the real power in government. There are a lot of issues over the incursions by certain spirits and entities that haunt the cities and every citizen keeps some kind of charm that supposedly ward off such creatures. Many of these are placebos sold by snake-oil salesmen but the sheer desperation keeps customers coming back to most of them. The Amazon is claimed as their territory but is mostly abandoned due to the strange creatures that have appeared since the Earth Child fled there. Argentina however is a fully developed nation that has managed to survive in good shape thanks to the other powers usually absorbing the worst of the abominations. The recent stirrings in Antarctica will change that.
The New Gods were shocked at the poor shape they found themselves in when they manifested on the physical universe but they were young and adaptable. Many perished but others adapted and carved out realms of their own to control. Through puppets and thralls they drove the world powers from their homelands and forced them to cling to life in their far flung and backward territories. With the time they had bought they settled down and began to build their power once again.
The Highlord was the most powerful of his kin even when still gathering strength in the Void beyond reality and chose a target worthy of his ego when his hand was forced. The conquest of Europe was a phenomenal undertaking that taxed even his strength but soon enough the people submitted and the German states knelt. From there he expanded over much of the continent, driving off rivals and enemies alike before he, his spawn and his slaves were completely exhausted. Sated with his great prize the Highlord settled down and consolidated what he already held, rebuilding his empire and preparing it for the next great struggle to subjugate the world. His Domain is now a vast complex of carefully managed and regulated sites, settlements and infrastructure. Whilst still not powerful enough to totally dominate the minds of his slaves the Highlord still exerts a presence of will over his entire realm great enough to cow all within its borders. His weakened state has forced him to resort to other methods of control over his population. A bast network of spies and informers made up of his spawn as well as his most fanatically devoted followers makes sure that the population is orderly and obedient. A massive system of laws is in place that harshly punishes any form of deviation within the population and is enforced by heavily armed police forces as well as the shiny metallic creatures that bud from the Highlord's body. Dissidence and disobedience are the gravest of crimes and any form carries the death penalty upon which the victim is taken to the immense shining temples and fed to the eternally burning flames.
On the former city of Hamburg is the Highlord's capital. It is a massive complex of pillars, towers and domes that reaches high into the sky and is built with almost impossible geometry. All of the buildings are constructed from a strange silver metal of unknown properties that shines with a great brilliance and seems to shift and shimmer in front of an observer's eyes. At the exact centre of the massive city is the palace of the Highlord. As befits his power and ego it is enormous and composed of the same silvery metal as the other structures. However the brilliance of the silver is even more pronounced and the entire building shines above all the other buildings. Inside its cavernous halls the great metallic mass of the Highlord has a presence everywhere. His immense form, composed entirely of rich substances, fills most of the rooms as a reminder of his power. Even in those rooms he is not present in his will bears down on every inhabitant, crushing their minds and their identity with its force and mass. The enormous bureaucracy that manages the Highlord's empire lives here. They have been purged of their will, identity and everything else that would make them rebellious in any way. They record every decree of the Highlord and distribute it to the rest of his slaves. They are his mouthpiece to the physical world. The Highlord commands legions of slaves who toil to strengthen his empire and prepare it for war. Great armies of slave soldiers clad in armour formed from the same silvery metal as the cities march alongside the imposing spawn that shine with an immense brilliance.
The entity that truly profited from their rise to power was the White Justicar. Already beset by horrors the Americans fell before the rising power of the fledgling God and the White Justicar cut a swathe through Canada and the United States. He now rules over a repressive nation devoted to the laws that he manifests. The realm of the White Justicar is the ultimate police state as his eyes are everywhere, his gaze transcends the physical and allows him to observe everything that he has influence over. Whilst this confines his powers to his realm alone it allows him to maintain the decrees that he has enacted upon the populace. To live in his realm is to live in constant fear, the eyes of the zealous God are all around you and any minor transaction, any guilty thought or supposition can lead to death. Justice is swift in the Justicar's Realm and it bends for no-one. However whilst the law is unbending it is still able to change constantly at the whim of the White Justicar and an innocent one day may be a criminal the next. Not all crimes are punished by death but can instead lead to the offender being sent to a penal legion where they will slave away as penance for their slights. The cities of the realm are kept perfectly clean and orderly, their streets patrolled by the tall and spindly spawn of the White Justicar. They appear as tall slender limbless beings that shimmer and appear vaporous at the edges of their being. Their forms are hidden beneath pristine white robes that shift in a non-existent breeze and wrap around the edges of the street, seeking out pedestrians and judging them in their precursor's name.
On the former city of Green Bay lies the Hall of the White Justicar. It is a large, foreboding and strange settlement where the pristine white towers contrast with black iron battlements and squat walls of granite. Bodies hang on hooks from the highest walls and towers as an example of the Justicar's judgement. These bodies show signs of horrific torture with scars, mutilations and mutations that stand testament to the punishment they have suffered. Alongside them are pages nailed to the walls that are covered in litanies, scriptures and verses transcribing and displaying the law. These pages never smear or decay no matter the weather and eerily draw the eyes of all who see them, seeming to stretch and grow when observed. Inside the massive building are vaulted halls and corridors with more bodies hanging from the walls on barbed hooks. The entire building is shrouded in absolute silence even as attendants and spawn walk the hallways, their footsteps muffled eerily. Elite and preferred spawn, wrapped in golden robes that coil and flap around them, patrol the hallways and command their lesser kin as they are dispatched for every part of the White Justicar's empire. In a great central chamber, surrounded by seats and pulpits where officials observe the Justicar's decrees, lies the White Justicar himself. He appears as a pillar of white fire that spirals and warps as it reaches up to the domed top of the chamber and seems to climb even higher despite the ceiling obstructing him. He is attended by both mortals and spawn that avert their eyes from his fiery brilliance even as they obey his decrees or bring the most egregious sinners to him for direct judgement. Though weakened by his premature ascension the White Justicar is still a powerful being. His power is slowly strengthened by the sin of the world around him. The entire planet, its people and especially his sibling Gods are all guilty of resisting the law and he is the law.
Neighbouring the Justicar is the wild realm of the Grey King. The young deity carved his own realm out of North America but found his expansion curtailed by the White Justicar and soon his empire contracted as his more powerful sibling forced him back. The Grey King's domain is a savage land dominated by think untamed forests and wilderness. The cities that exist in his realm are massive concentrated complexes that house populations of millions in packed high rises. They are fed by concentrated farms that are specifically designed like the cities to encroach on as little wilderness as possible. The people now slave away to maintain the settlements and feed themselves. Work is endless and monotonous with no respite or mercy from the lupine overseers that lope alongside the work crews, picking off the weak or lazy if they stray too far from their comrades. The Grey King stalks across his dominion as a giant silvery wolf, whose coat shimmers and pulls at the reality around him. He lopes across the sky, bringing grey clouds and ice cold storms with him as he hunts down his sacrifices himself. The forests are his domain and they are dangerous to human life. Giant wolves, bears and mountain lions roam through the thick woods and are joined by far less mundane creatures. Ghouls, forest hags and a whole host of foul predatory chimera also dwell within the think boughs of the Grey King's woods and relentlessly hunt down any who stray away from the settlements and into the shadow of the dark canopy.
The Wave Rider rose up in a cataclysmic eruption of power. Riding on the tsunami his tectonic arrival had caused he swept over the Caribbean and engulfed entire islands, cleansing them of life as he rabidly consumed life force. Sated he then turned to subjugating the surviving peoples of the Caribbean and built an empire of his own on the island chains. Today his empire is a shadow of its former glory that at its height ruled the entire Gulf of Mexico for a short while but he is still a powerful foe. Great bloated beasts swim through the Gulf of Mexico hunting down American shipping that is not sufficiently protected and beaching themselves on the shore in an attempt to reach prey close to the ocean. Terrible serpentine creatures, slimy and loathsome slither out of the water and assault coastlines with weapons formed from their disgusting bodies or forged from the human thralls of the Wave Rider. The people of the Caribbean live in a twisted and macabre fashion based around twisted and sadistic sorcerers that lead them in unending rituals designed to strengthen the power of the Wave Rider. Sacrifices are offered to the sea and many are simply thrown off cliffs into the water. To swim in the ocean is to invite death upon you and sailing is a truly dangerous proposition to take. The people live in scattered villages with the only substantial settlement being the industrial regions where foundries churn out weapons for the Wave Rider's hosts. The Wave Rider himself has no tangible form anymore but instead exists as a churning vortex that moves across the seas of the Caribbean, broiling storms form in his presence, his loud voice carried on the tumultuous winds and great powerful waves crash against the surrounding lands, sweeping the shores of those foolish enough to observe his passing.
The Firebird rose up out of the Andes and unleashed fiery destruction upon the Northwest of South America. The ash from numerous eruptions led to numerous problems in the nations of the north of the continent and left them easy prey for the desperate American refugees. The Firebird eventually calmed down as like the volcanoes he ruled over his energy waned and his temper cooled. Today his mountainous empire is a majestic realm of mountain top cities moulded from flows of volcanic rock. Great tunnel complexes reach deep into these flows and house the thralls of the Firebird. His human subjects scrawl primitive paintings in the ash that depict the Firebird's savage glory whilst his fiery spawn soar over the mountains hunting them. What few tribal communities do exist are ruled over by shamans who often burn portions of their bodies in supplication to their master and stitch feathers that have been dyed the colours of flames into their bodies. Whilst dormant the fires of the mountains are far from dead and every now and then earthquakes, geysers, avalanches and mudslides will wrack the land, topple the basalt cities and the cries of the Firebird will be heard throughout the land. The Firebird himself lies within the crater of the volcano he emerged from. He is a spirit of the Earth, a holdover from when the Old Gods ruled and though his precursors are long dead or departed he remained asleep. He is a disturbing creature to look upon, composed of fire and molten rock, he appears as a strange amalgam of dragon, phoenix and fire beetle with four wings of trailing flame, a long beaked snout that drools molten iron and an array of massive antenna that bristle from the ends of its snout seeking out intruders. He no longer flies but instead waits; building his strength once more but though he slumbers once again his anger can and will erupt in a devastating catastrophe.
The Lady of Iron was incredibly young when she was forced onto the physical world but took to the industrialising world with ease and an alien enthusiasm. Whilst most of the European continent was overrun by the crushing will of the Highlord the Lady of Iron took the opportunity to crush the British Isles. From there she ventured onto the rest of Western Europe and expanded until she reached the domain of the Highlord. After a short and devastating battle the two exhausted Gods and their forces withdrew and set a border that would see conflict forever afterwards. Using the existing industry and the wealth of resources in the region the Lady of Iron set about building and developing as much machinery as possible. Her land is dominated by the vast industrial complexes that belch smoke into the air, darken the skies with smog and blacken the land in filth. The people of Britain and France are forced to slave away in the labyrinthine factories, mills and mines in order to build machines, chained to their workplaces they are forced to build and forge new machinery that is then rolled out on conveyor belts to be assembled and sent to work. Propaganda is blared on radios extolling the pleasures of technology in the Lady's voice. The Lady of Iron walks across her realm as an enormous humanoid mass of machinery that towers high above the towers and factory chimneys, clanking and steaming as it does. Speakers positioned across the entire form of the Lady broadcast the Lady's voice which sounds like a warped amalgam of the voices of many different women of different ages all spoken all at once. Her spawn are all living automatons that march across the land, seeking rebels or instead fight on the front-lines of the war, their steel claws tearing enemies apart and their inbuilt machine guns showering opponents in bullets, grenades and shells.
The Bronze Wyrm was actually able to carve out a realm of his own in Central Asia. He is an immense coiled serpent formed of metallic scales with bristles formed of silvery filaments and a pig like snout capped by rows of sharks teeth and a single enormous horn. He burrows underneath his realm followed constantly by his many armed serpentine followers that will breach the surface and seek out living beings when they need to feed. The people under his rule live in constant fear of what lies under the ground and remain wary of even the slightest earthquake. The Bronze Wyrm does in fact have several vassal states that are ruled by either insane or opportunistic humans or have been taken over by lesser monstrosities that have submitted to the Bronze Wyrm's rule.
The other gods have not carved out empires in the conventional sense but they still walk the Earth and their influence on the world is undeniable as is the chaos they cause.
The Queen of Hearts was distressed at her lack of subjects but still took immense joy at the groups of insane cultists and dispossessed refugees that fell to their knees (or their stomachs) in worship of her. Realising the reality of her situation she instead took to travelling the world. Her range covers a good portion of West Asia where she moves from settlement to settlement. In the time where her followers and spawn are able to overwhelm the local leaders she visits the local population and basks in the uncontrollable rapture they display. At her approach the settlement will break out into sudden festivity as her worshippers begin a celebration for her arrival. As their bodies give out from the sheer sensory overload her presence creates, she picks whomever takes her fancy to indulge her. The most beautiful residents will often be skinned and have their organs removed before they are draped over the Queen's form like gore soaked clothing. Entire towns will often be drained of life after her visits with citizens being consumed, disembowelled, tortured or even raped to death in order to satisfy the Queen's myriad and perverse desires. The Queen appears as an impossibly beautiful female humanoid whose body is surrounded in a blinding brilliance of pinkish light. Beneath this shining light her flawless pale white skin writhes as if a swarm of insects and worms lives within her just beneath the surface.
The Master of Secrets still resides within his human form, now rendered immortal by his power. Though his appearance can change he still confines himself to a human form. He now targets people across the world seeking out humans and monsters and whispers secrets, half-truths and other information to them in order to incite chaos. He has been responsible for numerous disasters, directing or misdirecting entire armies, collapsing local and national regimes into anarchy and destroying entire lives with a few whispered sentences and the confidence of his targets. However those he does target will always hear his voice with a strange noise similar to the calls of a thousand insects overlaying every word he says and many regions that have erupted in madness and anarchy have heard rumours of an enormous upright insect wearing a massive tattered back coat roaming the alleys and edges of streets before disappearing in the shadows. The Master's favourite target is the Chronicler of Ages who suffered horribly from his early ascension. His weakened state has cut him off from his Library and left him unable to acquire a stable means by which he can reach it. Without his connection to his Library his mind has slipped further into insanity, the images, sounds and experiences of all of Creation tease him constantly but he is almost incapable of differentiating them now without his connection to the words of the Library. His spawn are now the only tenuous link he possesses to the physical world and he is struggling to formulate a strategy that will gain him access to his Library once again. The people of Egypt say that at certain times, when great events take place, they can hear terrible echoing screams that resonate across their land and claw at their minds.
Russia remains a human nation and has successfully repelled the advances of both the Highlord and the Bronze Wyrm but now strains against the incursions of several New Gods. The Angel of Death arose in a mighty cataclysm that shattered the fledgling Caliphate of Damascus and levelled much of the Holy Land. Faced by armies wielding weapons that could harm his then weakened being he fled the Ottomans and their British allies and instead moved into Central Asia and began a campaign of intimidation and conquest. Traumatised mortals flocked to his side and fell over in worship of his magnificent being. As his armies grew and his spawn multiplied he looked upon the land he found himself in and declared it unjust. All would worship him and he would fight until that dream was reality. So began the Eternal Crusade which even now roams much of Asia blindly in search of supplies and new followers. Vast processions of self-flagellating fanatics, insanely zealous berserkers, undead revenants and light enshrouded angel-spawn, bearing crucified sacrifices and altars covered in slain enemies, march across Central Asia attacking Russia, Britain and the lands of the Bronze Wyrm as well as the followers of the Queen of Hearts, the Grinning Shadow and any others who cross their paths. Those they spare often join their ranks and propagate the Crusade further. At the centre of the largest column is the Angel himself. His brilliance is dulled by exhaustion but his power is undeniable. From his fiery body, tongues of divine light sear those who oppose him and his sixteen wings whip up tempests that launch entire armies off their feet.
The Grinning Shadow found himself lessened thanks to his premature ascension. The shadows have become a far more hostile environment and the immensity of his realm now works against him in his weakened state. The Grinning Shadow spends most of his time within the Towers of Dreams, twisting and influencing choice humans through their desires and fears and dispatching living dreams and nightmares as he sees fit. He will often send his human form down to the material world in order to observe and influence its inhabitants but is far more content to stay within his Towers where he knows it is safe. His paranoia has limited his ability to project his power on Earth as well. His followers are now mostly confined to where their comrades can contact them physically though there are also the hordes of nightmares that ravage North Asia. His armies of nightmarish abominations are led by the Nightmare herself who has been released onto the Earth and rampages at the head of the horde, crying joyously as she hunts. However despite his paranoia and reservations his presence can still be felt in every shadow. People still visit his Towers and when they do he enjoys toying with, revealing untold pleasures and unbearable horrors as he wishes to his visitors.
The Abyssal Gatekeeper faced far less resistance in the Pacific and has been able to carve out his own dominion out of portions of Polynesia. However his true power is on the ocean floor where massive hive like cities are populated by mutated worshippers, part human, part fish and part sea slime. Sacrifices are offered to the waves where these foul creatures emerge from the sea and drag them below the waves. His influence has forced the nations of the Pacific to band all their shipping into heavily armed convoys composed of modified ships bristling with weaponry. His larger spawn also have a tendency to roam further than his known influence and attack areas across the Pacific, even clambering onto land at times.
The Pendragon is infuriated at the audacity of the New Gods after the Lady of Iron conquered the British Isles. Having long ago declared those lands as his possessions he immediately began to exert his influence. Too old and vast to immediately interfere directly, he instead released his servants upon Europe. The coasts of Western Europe are plagued by enormous serpentine beasts that breathe molten rocks and metals and are covered in stone hides that deter all but the most powerful weaponry. Alongside them are legions of tall, pale and slender humanoids, bearing weapons and armour of silver and shining gold that fly over the coastlands hunting whoever they can find. All bear the mark of a coiled serpent and that banner serves as a cold reminder to the young and weak New Gods of the price for their desperate hubris. The last Old God is neither dead nor ignorant.
Technology is at about the same level as OTL 1940s due to the disaster of the New Gods which stifled the scientific process. However progress could not be stopped and necessity has remained the mother of invention. Much of the world (that is industrialised) has a bit of a steam/diesel-punk aesthetic to it with cities that belch smoke from forests of chimneys and smoke stacks and zeppelins that carry passengers across oceans. Prop aeroplanes are solely used by the military and tanks are recent developments that are still fairly temperamental on most battlefields. Technology has seen a lot of hybridization with some of the safer forms of occultism. Much of these new developments are still very dangerous though and casualty rates are often rather high when using them. Chemical weaponry is still used in battle despite the high casualty rates that accidents bring and laboratories concoct as many new types as possible. New technology powered by arcane energy is being developed and in a laboratory in Australia a team of scientists are trying to split the atom with arcane rituals. Societies on the whole are stuck in the 19th Century though often with a lot more cosmopolitanism and less to no racism especially in the colonial states. The hybridization of so many cultures has led to a very strange world with odd new fashions and customs. The reputation of religion has been damaged by the New Gods but at the same time it has been strengthened. The Angel of Death and the White Justicar have both been denounced by the Abrahamic Faiths despite their allusions to certain religious themes. A form of rationalism has gained popularity in places in response to them. Sexism is still very common as the need for soldiers and workers means women usually have to stay barefoot and pregnant for the good of humanity. In the lands of the New Gods life is precarious at best and few humans live in safety and the need for new humans to replace the dead ones is even more pronounced and savage. Slavery (of the traditional chattel kind) is long dead and an uncomfortable association with the New Gods makes sure it is not returning any-time soon. However the lower classes are still horribly exploited and there are always socialists here and there who attempt to ferment rebellion amongst the workers. Magic is a very real force and some scientists have even been able to quantify it in a primitive fashion. Unfortunately these same scientists have been driven insane by their research but their insight has helped in humanity's efforts in harnessing the dangerous energies.
All of Earth suffer at the atrocious upheaval. Humanity has been shaken to it's core, the world no longer makes sense and it appears that God has abandoned them only to be replaced by creatures more terrible than their worst nightmares. Madmen and End Times prophets proliferate across the world and humanity struggles to maintain the shaky semblance of a status quo. The New Gods themselves are shocked at the state they find themselves in. They are supposed to be powerful and yet these mortals defy them, their powers are vestigial and weak and the immaterial realms they are meant to be masters of rebel against them. Their thralls are insufficient and their weaknesses are obvious to one another even if the mortals cow before them at the moment. Beneath and beyond the Earth the Pendragon is still stirring in his terrible wrath. They have overstepped their boundaries and the Earth Serpent whilst still rousing himself will awaken eventually. Even they do not know what will actually happen when that day comes.
In another realm beyond the physical universe the Witches of the Coven look upon the world with excited glee and worry in equal measure. The event that forced the New Gods to arrive has also made it easier for them to interact with the physical world. They have never been more powerful than they are now as the actions of the New Gods and humanity bleed energy into the world. The Game has changed and expanded further. Older players are adapting to the changed terms and new players are rising through the ranks as they exploit their new link to the Earth. The Silver Court has erupted into frenzied activity as its members manoeuvre and negotiate, alliances are formed and broken, opponents are assassinated and power dynasties are established. The New Gods have made them wary which is why their influence has been far more covert. However their investments in the human nations are beginning to make returns and their increasing levels of influence in the British Empire is the most viable option they have cultivated. Time will tell the results of their meddling and politicking but rest assured it will not be good.
Countless light years away a star died. The fire of the immense nuclear reactions within it guttering as the energy was bled away and consumed. One of the planets orbiting, previously a vibrant and diverse world home to mighty civilizations and beautiful lifeforms was now a grey waste, unnatural undulations on its surface visible even from orbit. The solar system died when a great and terrible entity visited it and devoured its life, energy and soul all simply to sustain itself and sate the endless hunger that gnawed at its very being. It had felt the shift in the universe, the release of so much energy had torn through it and it had experienced pain the likes of which it had forgotten long ago. It had been forced down to the physical world and had since renewed itself on the raw flesh of the system it currently inhabited. The being sensed the energy that had been bleeding into a certain world far away. An immense bounty grew on that planet but it had so much more potential. He would wait for the perfect time to intervene and then he would feed on the wealth this world presented. He is the AllFather and he has eternity.