Age of Apocalypse
The Rise of Apocalypse and the world today
The Rise of Apocalypse
Apocalypse believes in natural selection, the “survival of the fittest”. By his reasoning, super-powered beings deserve to run the world. When he foresaw such beings in action twenty years early, he set off to an early start on his campaign for world domination. Without heroes such as the X-men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the Avengers, there was no one to stop him.
The only opposition has been the decimated Human Resistance, and at the beginning of this campaign, small groups of super-human rebels.
World System of the Age of Apocalypse
The world powers, as well as the face of the Earth, were drastically changed as a result of Apocalypse’s war against normal humans. The world was divided between two superpowers: Apocalypse in North America and the Human Resistance everywhere else. Both groups claim to act in the best interest of their genetic breeds.
Militarily, the sides are in a stalemate. North America is protected by a sea wall. The Human Resistance has a large cache of nuclear weapons, and an unbroken line of Sentinels patrolling the European continent. As in our own Cold War, both sides were calling for peace while plotting the other’s destruction. Any incident could have spiraled out of control and led to the annihilation of all.
Below are the various regions of the Age of Apocalypse:
North America – otherwise referred to as the Dark Regime.
The US and Canada no longer exist as countries. Now it all belongs to En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse’s real name). In 1980 Apocalypse and his forces invaded DC and several other major cities, and simultaneously delivered fatal blows to the majority of the United States’ military bases. The attack was so swift and brutal that it was over before any of America’s allies could respond, and the world was held at bay, frozen in fear, at the first public appearance of superhuman entities and the raw power they wielded. Suddenly, more and more mutants appeared seemingly out of nowhere – their fantastic abilities manifesting usually during adolescence. Apocalypse had asserted the dominance of Homo Superior by obliterating the world’s most powerful government, and the overwhelming majority of young mutants were enthralled, and joined him in droves. From that point on, the continent would be known as the Dark Regime. The continent is divided between Apocalypse and his four horsemen. These provinces are:
The Realm of Sinister: centered on the Eastern Seaboard, from Quebec to Florida, with capital at Apocalypse Island (formerly New York City).
The realm of the Shadow King: part of the Midwest. Very little is known about what the Shadow King does here.
The realm of Magneto: stretches from the Midwest, with capital at Chicago, all the way down to Louisiana
The realm of the Scarlet Witch: west coast of the United States and Canada, with capital in Los Angeles.
The Badlands: eastern and central Canada. This is considered the territory of the Dark Regime, but it is mostly a barren wasteland beset with acid rain, mutated wildlife, roaming mutant marauders, and scattered human hideouts.
The Dark Regime is protected by a perimeter security defense system, in the form of an enormous wall cutting across the Badlands of Canada and the Mexican border, and powerful watchtowers dotting the ocean a few miles outside both coasts. Apocalypse also has a monopoly on Earth’s orbit. All human-made satellites have been destroyed and replaced with satellites of his own. This puts the Human Resistance at a huge disadvantage when it comes to gathering intel.
Thanks to a valiant defense from the continent’s various militaries, as well as their collective cache of nuclear weapons, what became informally known as the Human Resistance in Europe was able to fend off Apocalypse’s numerous invasion attempts and suffered much less damage than the rest of the planet. The following collapse of the world economy, combined with intermittent skirmishes from Apocalypse’s spies and saboteurs, led to a coalescing of human leadership in London. The Human High Council (HHC) was formed, and is led by Tony Stark.
The region is defended by Sentinels, created by Bolivar Trask, and a nuclear arsenal large enough to destroy the entire North American continent. The Sentinel program is run by the military branch of the HHC, known as SHIELD, or Safekeeping Humanity: Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.
There have been hundreds of nuclear strikes launched by both sides in the years after Apocalypse’s rise to power. Although most major cities have been struck by nuclear bombs, the following areas were bombed so heavily they came to be known as Atrocity Zones, and are far too irradiated for most living things.
- Eastern Asia. China was among the first super powers to attempt nuclear warfare against mutantkind, and paid the price dearly. Having foreseen this tactic, Apocalypse had Magneto redirect their nuclear payloads back on themselves and their neighbors Japan and India, and Pakistan.
- Middle East, Venezuela, Brazil. The oil fields in these countries were nuked in order to cripple the human economy.
There are stories whispered among few that tell of an underground railroad that delivers endangered humans and rebellious mutants from the Dark Regime to a mysterious paradise called Avalon.
In this timeline, Apocalypse’s rise to power marked the beginning of what would ultimately become the worst period of economic/technological inequality history had ever seen. Apocalypse and his forces destroyed several major cities throughout the world, and his ascension as ruler of North America resulted in the planet’s biggest economic player being isolated from the rest of the world. Engines of research, creation, and production that would have created the technology we know today (Internet, smart phones, etc) were left to rot, while anyone following Apocalypse were seduced by his far superior technology.
Due to his genius intellect, over two millennia of life, and his conscription of several other super-human intellects, the technology in Apocalypse’s domain should be considered of Incredible sophistication at minimum, i.e. that of alien technology. There are teleportation terminals throughout the empire, minions utilize energy-based weapons, flying vehicles/suits manipulate the gravity around them rather than being propelled by kinetic force. Every minion, from Infinite soldier to Alpha-class prelate is linked and can communicate and send data from any location. Life-forms can be detected and mutant/human status determined, power levels (including psionics and magic) can be determined. Genetic/Cybernetic enhancements are a standard part of the Dark Regime’s scientific class’ skillset.
The rest of the world is not so fortunate. The world’s major cities were decimated, three quarters of the planet’s population were killed during the Invasion and subsequent world war, and America no longer existed as an economic powerhouse. The human world plunged into an era of economic catastrophe and technological stasis and atrophy. The majority of the planet operates under 3rd world conditions – very small local economies are based on trade, and have little to no government oversight. Technology on average should be considered of Typical sophistication best. For the most part, human technology came to a halt in the 1980s. The only exception to this is the Human High Council. Advancements in technology are in direct proportion to the level of influence the HHC wields over a particular part of the planet.
- No influence whatsoever – Up to Typical. e.g. Mad Max dystopia.
- Some influence – e.g. HHC conducts humanitarian missions. Good rank. e.g. Average 1980s tech.
- HHC has dominion/governs the area – Excellent rank. e.g. Rudimentary comm technology, low-level broadcast towers.
- Major HR military locations – Remarkable rank. e.g. Slightly more advance tech, similar to 90s level.
- London, Human High Council members and SHIELD – contributions from Tony Stark, Henry Pym, Victor von Doom, et al allow for Incredible rank tech on average. Energy-based sidearms, the Sentinel Program, modern 2000s tech.
The HHC will never be able to develop tech with the reach or power of Apocalypse’s tech. Their resources are too limited, not to mention the fact that the orbit around earth is entirely monopolized by Apocalypse, who has destroyed and will destroy on sight any satellite not belonging to the Dark Regime. The saving grace for the humans is the Sentinel program. The army of Sentinels at the disposal of the HHC is responsible for the fending off of numerous attacks by Dark Regime forces and keeping humans relatively safe for the past few decades.
Creating characters in this world.
At the beginning of the game, the characters find themselves in London in an underground trainstation. They have each been through an extensive vetting process by SHIELD and have been selected to receive special ops training at an undisclosed location. They are meeting each other for the first time.
What comes before that is entirely up to the player. When coming up with the character’s background, it can’t be emphasized enough that in this universe, the biggest influence on your character’s personality and alignment are determined by whether they spent their formative years in the human world or the mutant world. Either choice will visit extreme conflict upon the character.
The mutant world wants to rid “their planet” of humankind, and so a moral objection is most likely what will bring your character to the Human Resistance. Growing up mutant in the human world however, means growing up subjected to extreme fear and prejudice. Yet part of you must find something in humanity worth defending.
Use the following timeline to help sketch out your character’s background.
- 1980 – Apocalypse invades Washington DC, while his Horsemen, their Prelates, and a massive army of Infinite soldiers attack the US and Canada’s major military bases throughout the world. The Dark Regime is established. War is officially declared by both sides.
- 1981 – Chinese and Russian military forces launch nuclear strikes against the Dark Regime, but the missiles are somehow redirected, creating the Atrocity Zones mentioned above.
- 1981-1988 – Apocalypse conducts the Cullings, where enormous armies of Infinite Soldiers sweep through major cities, killing every human being in site. An enormous human exodus from North America takes place.
- 1988 – The Human High Council is formed, Brian Braddock is sworn is as Prime Minister.
- 1989 – Apocalypse establishes a monopoly over Earth’s orbit by destroying all human satellites and placing his own.
- 1995 – Sentinels are deployed for the first time when the Human High Council is attacked by Dark Regime mutants. The Sentinels prove incredibly effective when they kill the mutants within minutes. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Braddock is killed in the battle. Tony Stark is sworn in as Prime Minister. He immediately orders a major increase in Sentinel production.
- 1999 – The perimeter security wall surrounding North America is finished. It becomes virtually impossible to enter or leave North America without the Dark Regime knowing about it.
- 2001 – The 6000 mile Sentinel patrol route around Europe and North Africa is also established. Attacks by the Dark Regime drop drastically.
- 2005 – SHIELD, the special forces military arm of the HHC, is officially established. Nick Fury is appointed as director, and he immediately begins scouting for mutants who are sympathetic to the Human Resistance.
- 2009 – Fury’s first team of mutant rebels, dubbed the X-Avengers, encounter a Dark Regime unit known as The Reavers in Berlin. Every X-Avenger is killed in combat.
- 2010 – SHIELD’s scouting for superhuman beings begins anew. Enter the player characters.
Who your character is will have been shaped by the above events, depending on where they’ve spent most of their lives. Where and when was your character born? Where did your character grow up? What must their life have been like? Is your he/she old enough to recall a time before the Age of Apocalypse, or is this violent reality the only thing they’ve ever known? Is your character a mutant? If not, what is the nature of his/her powers? What brought your character to the side of the Human Resistance?