What's Dead Is Dead:
An ASB post apocalypse scenario that I'm just toying around with. Will borrow themes from Max Brooks World War Z. Well here you go those of you who have waited for the map to go with this scenario. Thank you all for being patient. Now this is version 1 and it may be subject to some revision but don't count on that.
In the early 21st Century, an inexplicable event took place. The dead began to rise all over the world. At first it was a few isolated and obscure cases. However these incidents were simultaneous and sowed the seeds for destruction. These isolated attacks grew as the number of infected corpses multiplied with each attack. The sloppy responses by humanity exacerbated the problem and the initial meat-grinder counter-attacks simply provided more warm (now cold) bodies for the undead hordes. From there things fell apart as general anarchy and panic disrupted things further and cost more lives. The disorganized state of affairs made the situation easier for the undead. Those without survival skills found the world they now lived in was unbelievably harsh. Many simply surrendered to it, losing their minds or lying down to die.
Humanity retreated everywhere to their defensible locations. In these fortresses they dug in, hunkered down, planted crops, distributed labour and waited for salvation. For nearly a century, the dead roamed the earth before the effects of decelerated decay took hold and the undead rotted away. The remnants of humanity emerged from their citadels and cautiously expanded. The next century would see the re-emergence of the human race and their expansion back into the ravaged lands. However absolutely nothing would be the same again.
It is now 2287. Nearly 300 years since the dead first rose from their graves.
The global environment suffered atrociously from the undead infestation and humanity's various responses. Numerous efforts were made during the war to mitigate the advance of the undead hordes. Many cities burned as did the inevitable refugee camps. The refugees ravaged the land as they sought safety or resources, this damage was exacerbated by the undead who trampled the land and ate as many creatures as possible. Only those creatures too fast to be caught or too small to be recognised by the undead survived. The collapse of the food chain had further effects on the world. Since the recovery of humanity, there has been a resurgence in land clearance for farms, roads and settlements but many portions of the world have seen the great walls of vegetation returned to them. Much of Europe and Eastern North America are once again swathed in thick woodland. Populations of the smaller or faster varieties of deer, antelope and similar creatures have recovered in the absence of the undead. They in turn are often hunted by the feral descendants of domesticated cats, dogs and similar smaller predators. There are a few populations of larger animals that avoided the undead in the more inaccessible regions of the globe. Scattered here and there are growing packs of feral humans that still raid human settlements and attack small bands of travellers. However they do have a noticeable hierarchy and social system within their packs.
The climate has changed rapidly. Global warming was arrested by the ejection of so much ash and soot into the atmosphere as civilization burned. The short nuclear winter caused by the use of warheads by more desperate groups exacerbated this further. The climate is generally colder than before due to the lower consumption of fossil fuels, smaller populations of domesticated animals and greater range of vegetation lowering the CO2 content of the atmosphere. However sea levels are still slightly higher. Polluted rivers have finally begun to properly clean and decontaminate themselves naturally but the great patches of garbage in the oceans still exist. Fish stocks have recovered from their lowest points at the height of the infections spread and even other creatures have returned. Seals and dolphins have recovered as have sharks and rays. Whales have even pulled through by the skin of their teeth (or baleen sieves) and gentle giants are at their most common since the pre-colonial era. Life generally did better in the colder regions of the globe where temperatures often froze zombies for most of the year and killed off most of the refugees that fled there.
The United States fared poorly at first. The lack of coordination, protest at shooting their relatives and general misunderstanding of the situation lead to mass hysteria and a near collapse of social cohesion in the urban population centres. The Coasts were eventually triaged by a desperate military and a defensive zone was built in the Rockies. Shock, in-adaptability and the junta-esque measures that were resorted to killed millions more. The survivors soon settled down into their desperate lives and waited, ever vigilant, for salvation. The Holy Republic of America emerged from out of the Rockies after the undead rotted away. Within their fortified land, the Americans turned to religion to justify their suffering and the undead became the New Scourge of God. As the decades went by the people became even more radical and unhinged. The Famine of 2087 cemented the new Faith as the people fell to eating one another to survive. Madness descended after that but failed to tear them apart completely. A sect emerged that would define North America forever afterwards.
America is a land that believes it is worshipping God in the most 'orthodox and sacred' of ways. The original sect that founded the Faith preached of the God of the Old Testament who smote the wicked and demanded blood from his followers. The new cities have massive Cathedral-like temple complexes that host enormous religious ceremonies dedicated to the All Mighty Smiter. Ritual sacrifice is a common feature of the Faith and if no criminals (all crimes are an affront to God) are not available then volunteers will be taken. The average citizen will be indoctrinated to the Faith from birth and will often be issued a career as a divinely mandated and sanctioned duty. The military are everywhere and very significant in society. If they are not issued a career, then a career in the military (or supporting it in some way) is often seen as a necessary social step for any American and the industries that provide services and supplies for the army are often glamorised as much as the actual army itself. A Crusader mentality exists across the entirety of their Republic and their goal now is to unite the world under the one true and pure Faith.
American society is rather puritanical though certain festivals are allowed. It is also rather fatalist and apocalyptic with significant focus on the End of Days. Citizens are often encouraged to check their sins and work to absolve themselves. Service to the state and the Faith are often seen as a means of absolution as is the killing of heathens and heretics. Homosexuality and atheism (and agnosticism as well) are deadly sins and will always see the victim sacrificed. Any possible questioning of the Faith, unless sanctioned by government mandate, is also a quick way to getting your chest cut open on the altar. However scientific discovery and recovery is encouraged. All discoveries are treated as a part of God's plan and most contradictory theories are either discredited, discarded or reworked to provide a positive angle for government ideology. Racism is also not an issue as the colour of your skin is nowhere near as important as the prayer on your lips and the Faith in your heart, mind and soul.
Mexicans survived here and there but the majority made it through in the Yucatan. The thicker portions of the jungle and the fortification of abandoned Mesoamerican cities, allowed a sizeable number of Mexicans to survive. In these cities the people suffered due to starvation, poor hygiene and despair like all others. Before re-emerging, a massive Aztec revival happened and then got more and more decadent as nihilism almost set in. At one point the surviving Maya attempted to eject the others from the safe haven in the Yucatan and set up their own nationalistic safe zone. The reaction from the others was especially cruel and brutal. There are very few Maya left these days. As the decades passed and the bloodthirsty high lowered, the Mexicans found they had lost several cities in their safe zone to the undead and soon order was established by a combination of military personnel, US expatriots and drug cartel enforcers. However this group was quickly consumed by the Death Cults who converted the majority of the survivors and the leaders and lead the people in an age of insane fanaticism.
The Empire of Aztlan (Mexico to the foreigners) is a truly crazy and bloodthirsty theocracy. Human sacrifice is still carried out on a daily basis in order to appease the Gods and hold off the return of the walking dead. Sacrifices are provided by either criminals, volunteers and POWs from elsewhere. Flower Wars are not really a realistic option due to the strength of America and the relative lack of sufficient populations elsewhere but the quotas are met regardless. Aztlan is a flamboyant but macabre and even fatalist culture which blends bright and even garish colours and themes with the deathly and grotesque in a somewhat twisted fashion. The new rebuilt Mexican cities often incorporate ziggurats into their layout. Many ancient sites have also been reoccupied since the end of the undead and the new capital at Teotihuacan is truly impressive. The temple pyramids are all built in the traditional stepped manner but some Christian features have been incorporated. The temple buildings at the top of the pyramids now sport beautifully designed stain glass windows depicting all manner of deities, monsters, zombies and mythological heroes both old and new.
South America on the whole fared very poorly. A general lack of coordination combined with massively crowded cities and poorly equipped forces (compared to most other survivors) saw much of the continent overrun. Numerous states have emerged from the death and chaos however. A nation calling itself The Four Quarters is by far the largest and most powerful. It is a Catholic theocracy of the 'burn every heretic and dissenter' type centred in the Andean range. Four Quarters is poor, backward, slightly insane (which makes it look rational compared to most other places) and very nasty. Technology is still largely pre-industrial, slavery is a very real thing and gun smiths are probably the most prized individuals in the entire nation. This still puts them far above all of their neighbours and other states on the continent. Four Quarters is engaged in a mission to convert all peoples by the sword and their poorly equipped but fanatical armies are trudging through mountain range and jungle to hunt down the infidels. This attitude is copied at home where any possible form of dissent or objection is met with derision or violence. Ecclesiastic agents are everywhere, the walls all have ears and nobody, but nobody expects the Incan Inquisition.
Most other states in South America are pre-industrial and often pre-gunpowder too. Roving bands of nomadic warlords and slavers are common. The Amazon Rainforest has recovered and is home to wandering bands of primitive nomads. Many are descended from refugees fleeing the hordes of undead. The Amazon also hosts the largest population of feral humans on the planet. They are often seen travelling in packs and running down anything in their path that could be remotely edible.
Due to its high population density, lack of public weaponry (compared to America) and lower coordination, Europe fared far worse than the Americas. Much of the land as overrun and poorly prepared defended zones were in turn overrun either by the undead or by panicking refugees. Some safe zones at islands or in the mountains would also collapse into anarchy or despair in the face of the catastrophe or proved to be incapable of supporting substantial populations for decades at a time. Add a few nuclear missiles launched by panicking governments elsewhere (reasons varied) and the situation in Europe became drastic.
The British Isles were the largest 'offshore safe zone' on the continent and because of that were very quickly infested by the undead shortly after they had cleared their own indigenous infestation out. The government and as many safely screened people as possible were evacuated to Ulster, Scotland and Wales as England itself was almost overrun. This happened just in time to miss the nuclear warhead that was dropped near London. The British held out in the face of the undead in the North with a new wall keeping the hordes out of Scotland. Various renovated castles and fortified cities on the coast provided outposts for the UK in England itself. Ireland collapsed into anarchy during a resource shortage and was left to go to hell for a while before the UK could muster the resources to properly occupy the island. Though no genuinely theocratic movement emerged in the British Isles, the degree of social and governmental authority began to increase more and more as time passed and the situation became more desperate. Soon the military and those 'industries' that supported them were the only real authority, martial law became more and more deeply ingrained in British culture and society until the dead rotted away and they emerged.
Britain has since then expanded into a continent almost completely depopulated. From Portugal to the Urals, the walking dead rampaged and consumed. Britain has yet to properly colonise this but they have claimed all of it. The surviving populations have been seized relocated and forcibly assimilated into this new empire. British Europe is characterised by a highly developed and urbanised west coast and vast tracts of wilderness broken up by farms, smaller cities, military bases, castles and major roads and railways. The military are the new ruling classes, many hold old aristocratic titles and high ranking officers often have fiefs like old feudal lords. The government is a massive but surprisingly efficient bureaucracy intrinsically linked with the High Command. At the head of this is the King-Emperor, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces and therefore the head of state and government. Society is a very strange mixture of modern military ideals and older Anglo-European values and mannerisms. However underlying this is a disturbing sense of racial supremacy. Britain survived the undead and is rebuilding Europe against all the odds. This attitude has gone on to justify numerous atrocities against other European peoples. Whatever aspects of Continental cultures survived have been forcibly removed and destroyed for the most part. Former Western Russia is now home to numerous concentration and penal camps and as technology recovers, the familiar aspects of a police state are returning. Imperialism is currently the flavour of the century for Britain and has yet to be changed. Egypt is Britain's most lucrative and productive colony in Africa. The collapse of the Aswan Dam has allowed the Nile to flood regularly (as far as the climate change allows anyway).
The Middle East was especially hard hit. The chaos of the numerous wars beforehand and the numerous wars that took place when the undead rose did no favours for the residents. A few pockets have survived here and there with the people of the Iranian Plateau making up the largest group of survivors. Whilst not an actual nation, the locals do exist in a sort of impromptu tribal confederation made up of Iranians, Azeris, Armenians, various Turkic peoples, Pakistanis, Indians and Arabs. They all practice a form of apocalyptic Islam that involves copious amounts of self-flagellation, self-mutilation and the occasional human sacrifice but still reveres the teachings of Mohammed even if the lack of written texts made remembering his teachings rather difficult.
Israel responded to the crisis far better than most and succeeded in establishing a clear fortified line. This was then expanded upon to create a permanent barrier between the Israelis and the undead. Though a few limited outbreaks did occur, they were quickly put down. Prior to the outside world being overrun, the Israelis even opened the border to some further immigration. Then as the world descended into chaos, someone nuked the Levant. Only a couple of warheads had been launched so Israel survived and even squeezed off a few retaliatory shots before the world around them darkened. Enclosed in their nation wide compound (the holes in the wall from one of the nukes were quickly closed off again) they waited it out. An attempted coup by ultra-Orthodox Jews lead to the infamous Civil War and lead to government control tightening. Resource shortages then made things worse as what cities were left became overcrowded and even rationing failed to preserve their supplies as the decades passed.
When the dead disappeared, the Israelis exploded outwards in a period of ravenous expansion. Syria and Mesopotamia were quickly claimed as were the remaining oil fields for what little worth they now had. However they emerged a very different people than before. Israel. Like America, Israel worships the God of the Old Testament and believe that they truly are his chosen people. The Palestinian refugees they allowed in have either been slaughtered or enslaved now and only pure Jews are allowed the right to be considered human. The government is a Juche-esque theocracy with their Supreme Commander as the absolute authority. The rest of the government is theocratic and punishes any form of insurrection or dissidence. What few remaining Arabs, Turks and Persians exist in their empire are enslaved and subjected to horrific abuses on a regular basis. The oil deposits and reliance on technology for survival have allowed Israel to preserve some aspects of higher technology but like other states they have lost a lot of knowledge for many reasons. Though they possess no more delivery systems for their nuclear weapons, their technological edge has held Britain at bay. The Israelis have defeated two separate invasion attempts by the British (with heavy losses but don't tell anyone that). Israel's population is notoriously small for one of the greater powers but they have been breeding prodigiously in order to compensate for that.
Africa is a chaotic hell-hole. Anarchy, disease, famine and the hordes of undead lead to hundreds of millions dying. The continent was stripped of a lot of life. Small outposts and safe zones held out here and there but many more were overrun or collapsed for many reasons. Africa has several petty states and small tyrannies that have emerged with the decay of the walking dead. The largest and most advanced is South Africa which held out in the Highveld. The remaining white residents were eventually out-bred and quietly disappeared over the, often short, generations. The current regime has reoccupied the lowlands and sent feelers into the north. It is a militant society ruled by an absolute despot that has revitalised some indigenous cultures especially the Zulu culture. Ritual scarring and rites of combat are common features of South African life that have had great influence on the population. Gun making capabilities were preserved and they have even recovered steam technology but they are still very backward. However this has allowed them to build a modest empire even if it involves enslaving those they conquer in order to build the infrastructure necessary to maintain it.
The Russians managed to set a sort of impromptu safe zone in Siberia but it was a very shoddy and disorganized place. At times it almost seemed like it had fractured and been mostly overrun only for the humans inside to resurge and clear the territory yet again. In the chaos and despair, a new cult emerged that rapidly converted the residents. This group believed that God had forsaken the world and that the dread and ancient god Tchernobog had arisen and claimed the earth. The Empire of Siberia rose out from the remains of Russia under the complete control of the Cult. The new Tsar, a descendant of a talented and ruthless military officer, is a despot but even he is subordinate to the dictates of the Cult. Incest, institutional cannibalism and general insanity are common features of life in the Cult yet they fail to put off hundreds of prospective adherents and acolytes. Life for the average Siberian is one of fear and despair as they waste their lives away for the will of the the Tsar and the Cult (and the King-Emperor in Westminster of course) before they inevitably die and are consigned to Hell.
The Hindu Kush and the Himalayas were the destination of many Asian peoples and where the highest proportion managed to survive. However the environment and sheer number of refugees lead to the death of millions as famine and bad weather claimed its portion of the dead. The massive hegemony that almost seemed to connect the mountain range wide community collapsed and the groups were isolated over the years. These groups eventually went their own ways after they descended from the highlands and returned to the devastated lowlands.
The Afghan Empire does not exactly live up to its name as the majority of its population are made up of a mix of Iranians, Indians and Turkic Peoples by now. However it is one of the largest and most cohesive state around the Indian subcontinent. The Empire follows a rather warped version of Islam that has been distorted by the loss of proper religious texts and the general despair of the world. Like most religions theirs is now fairly apocalyptic and fatalist but has instead been refocused to destroying their external enemies rather than slaughter their own population. The Afghan Empire often engages in 'Flower Wars' to justify their existence and purge the surrounding regions of the many heretics that have emerged to claim the world.
The largest of the Asian states is the Empire of China. The Chinese survived here and there with the largest concentration holding out in Tibet where they eventually ended up killing (and eating) most of the Tibetans. After they came down to the lowlands the larger groups were united by a charismatic warlord and went on to conquer the other disparate Chinese holdouts and fortresses. This new Empire is a complex and twisted hybridisation of lots of different historical Chinese features. The Emperor and many of his court can be seen wearing blue robes and often hang portraits of the original warlord in every room. There is also a significant cult that offer reverence and sacrifice to a figure known as Mao that was apparently a divine figure and hero of their ancestors. China is once again the single most populous nation on earth and rules over a few other nations as well. They also claim a good chunk of eastern Siberia which annoys both the Siberians to the west and their British masters who lay claim to the region. However the Chinese have the greater presence at the moment. Life in China is harsh and monotonous. Both military and secret police presence is very large and powerful and the return of some later 20th Century technology is tightening their control. Though always an irreligious people, the government ideology is used by the state as a form of control and much like every religion across the world by this point, its fairly grim and apocalyptic. Much of the coastline is considered cursed even though the desiccated ruins of the old cities are now mostly clean of fallout from the nukes used in an attempt to stem the spread of the undead there. China's new cities are heavily planned fortresses. Streets are wide and evenly spaced to allow the rapid movement of units of soldiers and housings are placed depending on social rank.
Japan was one of the hardest hit nations. Their disarmed population, densely packed settlements and small island size made the spread of the infection incredibly easy. However the sheer number of smaller islands made it possible for a larger number to survive. The largest group was formed around an extreme right-wing political family group known as the Takagi Family. They rallied the other groups together and re-colonised the Home Islands generations later when the last of the undead finally disappeared. True to their family ideals, the new imperial family have made Japan into a militant and traditional nation. However these ideals are often carried out in the most extreme fashion with the new Empire being nothing more than an aggressive police state. The government has endorsed new colonisation plans and both Korea and Taiwan have been repopulated by Japanese colonists (South Korea anyway the North is a cursed and evil place that must not be touched). This has constantly put them at odds with China over territory. The Takagi Family continue to produce talented individuals and the current Empress is an intelligent, cunning and incredibly temperamental woman. They also continue to follow the tradition of choosing consorts from the same family that have stood beside them for several generations now. Japan does have problems with a prevalent and disgustingly decadent apocalyptic cult that has existed for as long as their regime.
Much of South East Asia is either empty, savage or run by China. Numerous little states made up of the remaining Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese can be found here and there but most are in China's sphere of influence. A large empire that calls itself Khmer (whether that’s legitimate or not is largely unknown) is still independent and has frequently raided the neighbouring pirate kingdoms. Indonesia and the Philippines are host to a large number of pirate kingdoms and sea faring communities. China has made a number of attempts to purge these groups from the islands but they have rarely made any progress.
Australia suffered from high population density in one small portion of the continent. The fact that this area was also located right next to the highlands made it even more difficult to successfully defend the continent. Soon enough the continent was overrun and humanity only survived on Tasmania as well as in a few fortified settlements scattered here and there. Reconstruction afterwards was difficult. There are still numerous scattered, inbred and backward settlements across the continent. The arid interior was eventually scoured of the last few remaining humans and is still empty save for a few wandering tribes of nomads (mostly white with a few remaining Aborigines). The largest spot of civilization was reunited by a skilled tactician and fighter who turned out to be less skilled as a politician and let his empire devolve into a corrupt despotism with a cult of personality dedicated to worshipping him and his descendants as godlike figures. New Zealand is a mad theocracy that combines militant Christianity and Maori warrior culture together. The God they worship is the Christian one but is also considered cruel and vengeful. The Archbishop of New Zealand rules as an absolute leader over the Isles and keeps the people occupied by searching for often non-existent heretics and the often more existent pirates that continue to raid in around Australasia and Indonesia.
Technology varies. Most areas of civilization have 19th Century levels with a few bits and pieces of later technology here and there. The largest empires often maintain electrical grids and even use vehicles powered by ethanol and other forms of cheap biofuel. Many other areas use more primitive tools ranging from iron to stone and wood. Resources are rarer but distributed often by the ruling authorities and wasteful consumption can no longer be afforded like before. The greater world powers were usually able to preserve most modern technology but over the centuries their descendants tended only to maintain what was most necessary or useful (namely weapons and other tools). Nuclear power is an extreme privilege and only America, Britain and China have access but see little value in using any of their decayed bombs. They want to rule the world not damage it any further. Nuclear reactors were shut off and abandoned and have now collapsed since the infection began. Some nations have learnt how to rebuild them but progress is incredibly slow at the moment. Traditional values, lack of foolproof contraceptives and existing medical technology are allowing populations to really bounce back and the new available land that many nations have for agriculture is helping to feed them. The traditionally fertile regions are being resettled at the moment but as nations continue to expand they will return to the other portions of the globe as well. What medical 'science' that exists is currently trying to find out what caused the undead to emerge but there are no leads and no understanding of why they functioned the way that they did.