History as told by Oldtown
Almost half a century ago, the world burned in an atomic fire. A total war between world powers, caused by accumulating crises, led humanity to its downfall. In October 2077, the conflict known as the Great War began. A nuclear fire has claimed millions of lives, turned our homes into dust and transformed the earth’s surface into a hostile hell out of our worst nightmares. Some lucky people escaped the destruction by hiding in underground bunker complexes or by retreating to remote, inaccessible out-of-the-way locations. After the fires were finally extinguished and the smoke covered the sky with a greasy shroud, many years of silence followed, broken only by the howling of the winds sweeping the empty barren seas of ruins.
The human race is stubborn in its fight for survival. After decades of hiding from the effects of the Great War, we have finally begun to return to the lands destroyed by our ancestors. We painstakingly began to rebuild civilisation, struggling against a dangerous environment, famine and disease. We survived the end of the world. We cheated Armageddon. We escaped death.
Today, in the 2120s, humanity is still struggling to survive, the world is being rebuilt with toil and labour. There are lone wanderers roaming the Wastelands, ruthless in their daily struggle to survive in a world where it is not difficult to come across a pack of mutated animals or an irradiated, dangerous area. Most choose to gather in larger groups, form factions, and build towns. However, where there are too many people, the well-known crises of the past appear. The struggle for influence and raw materials often leads to the collapse of newly established settlements.
Unfortunately, along with the old world, much of the knowledge we possessed as a world-dominating race has been lost. Many people born in the new world are unable to understand or use the technologies found in the pre-war crypts. Recovered weapons or cars are deteriorating with each passing year. Some foretell the renewed downfall of humanity as soon as the access to pre-war resources ends. A few individuals manage to find and restore old disks or read textbooks. Some have been lucky enough to meet people who survived the apocalypse and learn from them. These lucky ones get a head start, learning to create simple and increasingly advanced technologies, but mainly using “rubbish”, as no factories are functioning.
Nowadays, most people are concentrated in their closed agglomerations, be it quasi-cities or fortresses, encampments or even tribal clusters of tents and huts. Travel is done in groups armed to the teeth, or quickly and relatively stealthy. Threats come from all sides of the Wastes. Mutated creatures attack and devour those unable to defend themselves. Bandits plunder and pillage, giving in to their most primitive instincts. An expedition to a bad area of the sea of ruins may end in slow agony caused by radiation sickness. More numerous groups, ignoring the witness of the Great War and its consequences, are already starting their own petty wars. The stronger devours the weaker. Everyone is fighting for survival in this strange new food chain of the forces of the post-War world.
The North of Finland survived, at least to some extent. The fallout hit the South hard, and it can be seen most clearly in the fact Helsinki is overrun by mutants. A lot of people still live in the area of what was once known as Finland. Small settlements of somewhat permanent tents and houses exist in the North where small plots of land free of radiation still survive, but those are few. There are also tribes, like Children of Ashes, who have many members with mutations, some small and insignificant, some more pronounced.