The Mutant Epoch - New Veda
Welcome to the 24th Century,
and a world undergoing metamorphosis. The ancient ones speculated their end would come suddenly, caused by one great war, plague or geological catastrophe, wiping out their entire race if not all life itself. Armageddon, of course, did come, and raged for centuries instead of a mere decade, and in some areas, the old wars go on, fought between humanity, mecha, mutant and the many slave races of clones, bioreplicas and cyborgs. The demise of the world’s pan-global culture took place insidiously, leading to a final collapse of all nations, replaced by survival and expansion minded corporate and city states, and regions of total anarchy. Plagues, earthquakes, climate change, floods, starvation and civil unrest depopulated the world further. The end seemed near by about 2200 AD. From here, resources became still more scarce and regional wars erupted among ever smaller and more focused factional groups, groups which were often formed out of genetic, religious or technological allegiances. ‘Hold out’ corporations and other powers advanced their weapons programs, adding robotic, clone, bioreplica and trans human forces as well as bio-genetically engineered warriors and beasts to their arsenals. Mutagen agents used to wipe out enemy agricultural resources, or boost a government’s own, produced increased yields but nightmares as well. The crossing of humans and animal DNA became commonplace, and the freakish results occasionally produced strains of sub-human deviants which formed their own racial standards and sub-culture, ultimately splitting off from their creators and claiming their own lands. Androids, having already taken over military direction for some corporations, rebelled and slew their creators, forming mecha empires of their own, many bent on the elimination of all humanity, while other mecha forces, still serving human masters, or developed by a competing manufacturer, waged war on their mechanical brothers for supremacy.
Hundreds of years of mutation, cultural collapse and reemergence, have left the earth a very different place than that of the pre-devastated world. In former times, humans ruled, and all their creations were their slaves and play things. In the Mutant Epoch, pure stock humans struggle to survive in a landscape of horrors, where their enemies lurk around every corner, and many plot their final downfall. To survive, some humans have embraced their own mutant offspring, former clone and bioreplica slaves and now live among them, embracing their common homosapien lineage in a bid to merely survive. In other locales; however, pure stocks have attempted to weed out all mutant life, embraced fundamentalist Purist religions that see their genetic purity as a gift from God, and seek to burn or enslave all mutant life. Yet, elsewhere, pure stocks who are the direct descendants of intact corporate or political powers, have held on against hostile races and factions. Fortifying themselves in technologically advanced pockets of the old world, they communicate with each other as well as a few orbital space communities above the Earth and on other worlds, working toward a day when their kind can once again claim dominion of the earth. For mutant humans this is an age of opportunity and personal power. In most areas they have thrown off the chains of their human masters, have used their awesome mutations to build pockets of their own culture, and decade by decade have grown in power, formed small regional nations, and commenced communication with other mutant dominated nations of Aberrationists. Their goal is to see all pure stocks phased out by inter-breeding with mutants, or by execution.
The most common settlements are the numerous free towns, also called trade or barter towns. Here, often with few laws, these old west style forts are the refuge of misfits, seeking protection from the terrible creatures of the wilds, the race wars between purist and aberration, or worse, the robotic mecha expansions. In free towns, engineered humans mingle with mutants and pure stocks, free willed android mercenaries and self aware robots, gathering to trade food, water, power cells, slaves, scrap material and relic treasures, as well as to form excavation teams to uncover the precious loot found in the ruins of the Ancients. Adventure teams, usually small crack units of between 4 and 12 members, are essential to the free towns both to act as scout and raiding parties, as well as to keep an influx of relic weapons and armor coming into their hands. Only through force of arms can small independent factions survive long against the barbaric humanoids such as skullocks, warmorts, moaners, reptili and bipedal rats, not to mention the imperial aspirations of androids, pure stocks and aberrationist mutants. It is a time when helicopter gun ships, satellite guided missiles, tanks and orbital strike craft are exceedingly rare, when wars are fought by hand held weapons, axes and crossbows, muskets and swords, an age when the mutants, with their long ago engineered or hyper-evolved deviations, gain supremacy on the battlefield. It is a time when a new, freakish race is suddenly more populace than the pure blooded humans who manifested them; this is The Mutant Epoch.