Friday, July 29, 2016


The edges of the high desert are riddled with colonies of giant ants and their erstwhile symbiotes, the antherder clans. Pheromones mark them as friends, and keep the soldiers from antherder living quarters. Antherders can be recognized by their carapace gas-masks, which which keep the stinging sand from their eyes, and built up pheromones from their lungs.

The relationship between the colony and the antherders benefits both. The antherders are immune to the diseases and fungi that occasionally plague colonies; in the very old colonies, with very old relationships with antherders, the workers will bring them corpses, malformed larvae, and rejected food. The antherders gain food, protection, and items for trade. All of the clans practice their own styles of chitin-work, bending it into everything from armor to woks.

Sometimes a small child will saturated with the right mix of pheromones, and the ants will recognize it as a larvae. They will be taken and raised by the colony. They do their best to mimic the giant creatures, learning their values from observation. Sometimes they learn human languages by stalking and eavesdropping on antherders. When they are old enough, and lose their fear, they may reintroduce themselves to the human community. Their thoughts are now too different to ever be an antherder, but they are encourage to try to explain themselves, and their words are recorded.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chrysler 1000

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In a Chrysler 1000 you can enjoy the same flashing performance that brought Berlin to its knees in '45 - plus the reliable endurance and maneuverability that saw our boys through the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. For the sleek and stunning new Chrysler 1,000... in regular, though limited production... has the same look, feel, and reliability that have made the Chrysler name famous among the armed forces of the nations of the west.

Bring this ad to your Chrysler-Plymouth dealer and receive a free shoulder-mounted Browning M2!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The lands west of the Urals and east of the Vistula are now some of the least habitable on Earth, approximately 60% yellow zones and 20% red. Western Russia is an autonomous zone, a patchwork of communes, city-states, and simple chaos. Moscow itself is a red zone, where human life only continues underground. East of the Urals, however, the USSR persists.

Vladivostok is the new capital of the new USSR. Government officials, along with vital civilians, live in a large bunker complex beneath the city. The only remnants of communism are aesthetic: emblems on uniforms and statues. The USSR is spartan, a military state, devoted to and dominated by a military hierarchy.

The cyclical plagues, allergen storms, and toxic rains that render so much of the Earth uninhabitable have largely spared Siberia and central Asia. Mutant animals, however, are more common, especially the giants: gigantic, unique monsters which range across the land. Although the USSR retains a greater ability to wage conventional war than most nations, much of its military is therefore focused on monster hunting and defense.

The USSR has a major technological advantage in the form of live, friendly elder things, retrieved from Antarctica and revived. Deep below the rest of the Vladivostok bunkers, the progenitors tutor their accidental children in the arts of hypnosis, applied neurology, and artificial intelligence. All USSR soldiers are hypnotically fortified, and more and more of their vehicles are assisted or automated by brain-chips, making for a psychologically sturdy military.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


"Melds" is a broad term, referring to a type of extreme aberration among ungulates. Every so often, a horse, deer, donkey, or similar, will have a baby so deformed the only thing it seems to have in common with its parents are its use of the same anatomical parts. The mothers have never survived the birth, even when under veterinary care. The melds themselves always seem unhealthy, often suffering from infections, old wounds that never quite heal, cysts, and boils. At the same time, they can be very difficult to kill.

This phenomena is not known to occur among any group other than ungulates, and does not happen to all ungulates. Each species gives birth to its own type of meld, so although the melds themselves seem sterile, they continue to survive as groups. The cause and mechanism of these changes are unknown.

Horse-melds are most easily identified by their large, frog-like legs. More typical horse legs sprout from their body at odd angles, only partially functional but able to help move food into their mouths, located in the center of their abdomens. Their mouths are flanked by extra jawbones, complete with teeth, apparently useless.

Donkey-melds are characterized first and foremost by bone. Their heads are bare skulls with cracked jaws spreading horizontally like mandibles; the only flesh visible is the eyes, tongue, and esophagus. They have a bone exoskeleton, almost insect-like, but with invariable fractures, infections, and growths. Each leg is split in two, so that it walks on eight bone spikes.

Deer-melds have a body plan similar to that of typical deer, but the devil is in the details. They are constantly trembling, although they are swift runners and rarely seen to fall. Their antlers curve down and forward, ending below and ahead of their mouths. Their hunting strategy is to impale small animals on their antlers, then allow them to rot, eating them once sufficiently softened. Flies can invariably be found following them, and they are always riddled with parasites.


Inspired by Pripyat Beast by Keith Thompson

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Goblinoid Menu

To the goblinoids, plants are for medicine and spices. Eating plants as food would be like trying to get drunk on water. Food is raw liver, brain soups, and lots and lots of roasts. Food is meat.

Goblinoids all enjoy hunting, and maintain some forested areas as game preserves, but the majority of food comes from great herds of auroch and boar. A large minority of goblinoids make their living off of cattle, rounding them up for slaughter, killing monsters that threaten them, clearing land for them, or stealing them.

The shift from humanoid plant-based diets to goblinoid meat-based ones has caused a shift in the entire landscape. The great herds of cattle eat their way across the landscape, leaving only the thorny and poisonous plants untouched. Deforestation is occurring rapidly and deliberately, as trees are cleared and burned to expand grazing lands. Floods and brushfires are becoming more common. A rough, goblinoid equilibrium is asserting itself.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


The security council became the stability council, and now the sustained emergency council. Most of the rest of the UN has fallen away, but UNSEC remains. It servers as a meeting place for national governments and an avenue for mutual aid. The UNSEC can act directly when requested by a member state, in which case it does so through the OS, the Office of Stability. The UNSEC-OS, to give the full acronym, employers military, political, economic and scientific advisors, a rapid reaction force, an investigation arm, and, unofficially, an espionage arm.

UNSEC classifies the world according to politics and habitability. Politically, Earth can be divided into member states, non-member states, and "uncontrolled zones". Prominent member states include the US, USSR, European Union, New Columbia, Angola, Egypt and China. Prominent non-member states include Taiwan, Argentina, South Africa, and Nepal. Prominent uncontrolled zones include western North America between the Mississippi and the Rockies, eastern Europe between Warsaw and the Urals, the Amazon basin, the Indian subcontinent, the Congo, the Sahara desert, and Australia. Uncontrolled zones have no overarching organization, and can be composed of every type of small human society ever conceived, from cartels to cults.

The world is also divided into zones of habitability. "White" zones are controlled environments, such as domed cities, arcologies, and bunkers. "Green" zones are suitable for permanent habitation and agriculture. "Yellow" zones are suitable for long-term habitation, albeit with reduced life-spans and elevated risks of violent death. "Red" zones are suitable only for short-term habitation, and can be dangerous even to travel through. "Black" zones are fortunately rare, zones from which few have returned and which remain mysterious except for surveillance from a distance.


The default path for PCs is to be members of the OS, which gives them an excuse to get involved in just about anything.