Shadowmark

They keep saying that the Shadowmark is nothing but death and desolation. But I bet my fucking ass that the people out there live a better life in freedom than we do. Those armoured personnel carriers that come and go must have a purpose we don’t know about. What the hell are the gimmies after?
  The Shadowmark is a mostly barren wasteland outside of the Fusion City Perimeter Wall. The Shadowmark, more commonly called the Wastelands, is the world as left by The Cataclysm. It is mostly made up of endless, rocky plains. Ramshackle settlements cluster near sources of water and forests struggling to grow in the harsh landscape.   Despite popular belief not all, or even most, of the wastelands is a toxic hellhole that will kill you within minutes. Most of it is just a desert wasteland with little natural resources. Scorching days, freezing nights, sandstorms and horrible mutated wildlife may be enough to discourage tourism, however.   Most things thriving in the wastes are mutated wildlife, corrupted by a century of exposure to the toxicity of remnant shadow energy but there are people that live here, descendants of Cataclysm survivors. People who lived far from the major cities, safe from the explosions and radiation from their dying shadow plants, or people who were under ground, safe from the devastation that scorched the surface.
Alternative Name(s)
The Wastelands
Type
Wasteland
Contested By
Inhabitants
Cockroaches / Wastelanders
Mutants

Ruined Cities

All over the wastelands are ruins of settlements from the old world, partially or entirely buried in the drifting sands. These relics of a bygone era are rich with technology from the old world and are popular looting places for the wastelanders. It’s from where most of their technology and resources come that they use to make tools, vehicles and settlements. It is not without danger, however, as the cities are blanketed in radiation and shadow toxins, left behind from the destruction of their shadow powerplants.  

Settlements

The Shadowmark is not as dead and deserted as the Fusion City citizens would have you believe. There are millions of people living in the Shadowmark, descendants of Cataclysm survivors, in thousands of settlements. While each settlement is small and house only up to 20-500 people, there are settlements all over the wastelands, wherever there were survivors. Most of the settlements are far from any ruined city, since no one from the larger cities survived the Cataclysm, and commonly near some source of drinkable water.   In difference from Fusion City, wasteland settlements often have many mutants living in them. Cockroaches still have more societal status than the mutants, but they are more respected here than in the city, and some settlements even have mutant mayors.  

Mutant villages

Thanks to this low-key persecution and ostracisation, mutants often leave these settlements to find places where they are welcomed. This has given rise to mutant villages, where “purebloods” are not welcome. A home for mutants to feel safe and welcome. These settlements harbour a distrust for the smoothskins.  

Corporate interests

There are thousands of installations in the Shadowmark, both active and deserted. The vast majority of them are mining installations near the mountains and in rocky areas. The rest are military installations and hidden science labs, deserted or abandoned. Plenty of weapons development and testing was performed in the wilderness, and with the Cataclysm wiping out the militaries and companies that performed them, these installations and their technology are ripe for the picking for the one that can find them.  

Science labs

Some science installations are still in active service, run by corporations and government interests in Fusion City. These installations are usually well protected by perimeter fencing, security droids and armed guards. They operate under “shoot first, ask questions later”.  

Military Complexes

Like with science installations, some military research and testing complexes remain. These are still active, performing weapons research and development on behalf of a corporation or the government. If science labs operate on a lethal defensive basis, these installations don‘t even bother telling you to leave before shooting.  

Shadow Scars/Forbidden Zones

The Shadow Scars are dark splotches of land in the wastelands, perpetually veiled in dark, thick clouds and a dense mist. They are areas where the Veil between the Shadow Realm and the world was weak, leading to shadow energy bleeding through. These areas are lethal, dark and completely inhospitable for any life. Visiting a Shadow Scar requires protective clothing and breathing apparatus to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the toxic atmosphere. In addition, there are horrifying, mutated and corrupted monstrosities living inside these scars, making them even more dangerous. That hasn’t stopped people from trying to explore them, in search of exotic materials and lost technology.


Cover image: Neos City by Jordan Grimmer

Comments

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Master Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
7 Jun, 2019 17:41

And yet again, you strike with an amazing and beautiful article! This offers so much information about the shadowmark! I just love the formatting and how you describe the lands outside the biggest settlement in the world. My feedback might sound bland this time since I’ve been sick but overall, I’d say I love the detail and the formatting as always! One question I had though was that have the corporations ever tried to mount expeditions to the ruined cities? Alternatively, have they ever tried to “terraform” the rest of the shadowmark? It’s still an amazing article and all I have to say is congrats as always tobs! You rock!

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