Life in the Strange Aeon
Life in a Strange Aeon
At no time in Human history has the justification for war been
clearer and more universally accepted than now. On the surface,
citizens of the NEG believe that they will eventually emerge
victorious. Wartime industry and technological advancements
have led to a global economy ripe with employment opportunities.
Increased personal wealth has led to a more luxurious lifestyle
for citizens of all classes. People, in general, show a great deal
of faith in the New Earth Government’s leadership. With the
economy’s strength and victory during the First Arcanotech
War, it’s easy to understand how the public could place so much
faith in NEG’s ability to survive. This faith in mortal tenacity,
however, may also be because the alternative is too horrible to
contemplate – enslavement, extinction, or worse.
The Ministry of Information takes great pains to promote and
maintain this positive public attitude through its vast propaganda
machine. Government sponsored parades and public celebrations
showcase war heroes. Media spectacles cover the unveiling
of new battlecruisers or broadcast inflated casualty reports
inflicted upon the enemy. Lighthearted situation comedies
flood the airways, depicting average middle-class families that
somehow always manage to overcome the horror of the world
while maintaining a safe domestic lifestyle. For several months,
a government-backed publication entitled How to Survive a
Migou Attack hovered within the top five of the Chicago Best
Seller list. Public safety broadcasts and advertisements advise
their viewers on how to manage stress and anxiety, how to identify
potential psychological problems among your friends and loved
ones, and which government agencies should be contacted for
help. A recently passed Sedition Law makes it illegal to publicly
denounce government war policy and anyone attempting to sway
public opinion in a negative fashion can be arrested. The Ministry
of Information fully understands that it would take very little to
cause mass hysteria within the New Earth Government.
Since 2067, “New Society” legislation has allocated extensive
funding to urban reconstruction projects. The highlight of
these projects has been the development of a new architectural
marvel known as the arcology. Based on Paolo Soleri’s original
concept, arcologies are the new cities, combining architecture
and ecology into a single three-dimensional urban structure.
Residents inhabit an environment in which living spaces, work
locations, shopping districts, and public recreational facilities
are all within easy walking distance of each other. Since only
emergency or commercial vehicles are allowed inside the walls of
most arcologies, transportation is normally via automated slide-
walks or computer operated monorail cars that circulate on a
Built over the ruins of cities leveled during the First Arcanotech
War, arcologies have allowed mortal civilization to rebuild with
less impact on the local environment and natural resources. The
threat of extinction has created a new and healthier attitude
toward environmental conservation and a possessiveness of
mankind’s home world. Arcologies have also been developed
with a mind toward security. Scanners cover every entrance to
detect unwanted invaders. Well-disguised gun emplacements
and surface-to-air missile launchers guard the outside against
a direct assault. Atlanta, Baltimore, Cairo, Dallas, Frankfurt,
London, Los Angeles, New Tokyo, Philadelphia, Seattle, Toronto,
and Vancouver are all examples of successful arcologies. New
York has been working to develop a twin tower configuration
between Manhattan and Brooklyn, but construction efforts
have been hampered by Migou and EOD raids.
Some communities explore the possibilities of underground
expansion utilizing arcology concepts. Originally conceived by
Nazzadi engineers, a handful of these underground “geocities”
have emerged. The Nazza-Duhni capital Klarra-Baki, formerly
Santa Clara, has evolved into the most extensive, fully functional
geocity in the world. A few cities have adopted a hybrid architecture
in which a portion of the city lies within a smaller surface arcology
and the rest spreads underground like the roots of a large tree.
Denver and Phoenix are functional hybrid examples.
While NEG citizens seem confident and optimistic at first glance,
a rivalry has grown between those who live within the arcologies
and those without. Those who can’t afford to live inside an
arcology and those who suffer from Sick Building Syndrome are
called “outsiders.” They see “arcos” as frivolous and lazy city
dwellers that have chosen to sacrifice their individual freedom
for comfort. On the flip side, arcos see outsiders as simple and
backward people who are unwilling to change their ways even in
the face of annihilation. For the most part, this rivalry is simple
one of ideology, much like the big city-small town conflicts of
old. These differing attitudes also affect the way Humans view
their alien partners. While Nazzadi have enjoyed welcome and
acceptance within arcologies and other large cities, they must still
face mistrust and sometimes hatred among rural communities.
Citizens of the New Earth Government have been forced to accept
the existence of supernatural magic. However, the study of magic
is often viewed with suspicion, trepidation, and disdain, and is
generally regarded as dangerous. Sorcerers, as practitioners of
magic are often called, are required to register with the Office of
Internal Security. The OIS tracks both the residence and abilities
of every registered sorcerer in the NEG. Their purchases are
tracked as well, as arcane texts, magical supplies, and enchanted
items are considered to be controlled substances. To purchase
or manufacture any of these items requires a permit – similar to
those required for weapons. The OIS also maintains agents who
investigate crimes of a suspected magical or para-psychic nature.
Because of this regulation, there is a rich magic black market
within the NEG, often referred to as the arcane underground.
Magic is not something to be taken lightly.
Organized crime, with help from the Children of Chaos, has taken
firm root in most major cities, though black market items within
arcologies draw a much higher price than other areas due to the
need to smuggle past tighter security. Some fragments of occult texts,
though surrounded by a great deal of fluff and fantasy, have found
their way into pop culture. Geared toward a younger demographic,
messages of dead gods are whispered in the rhythm of dance club
music or echoed in the pages of fringe publications. The circulation
of a false Necronomicon has even given rise to small pseudo-cults
composed of the disgruntled and disillusioned. Typically gathering
to cut loose and have a good time, it’s only a matter of time before
one of these pseudo-cults gets their hands on something they
shouldn’t and draws the attention of something very old.
There’s a quiet fear lurking deep within most parts of society. Small
coastal towns are burned to the ground by government troops,
stories circulating of strange and hideous “things” appearing
in homes and ravaging families, the sudden disappearances of
friends and neighbors, and friends and acquaintances forcibly
taken by armed police to mental hospitals for psychiatric care.
These are the things that people sometimes think about, but of
which no one will utter a word. It’s a fear that rises from the
pit of your stomach, only to be forced down again by a certain
belief that the New Earth Government knows what to do and
that everything is under control.
The Aeon War
It is debatable when the Second Arcanotech War ended and the Aeon War began. Some historians mark the
beginning of the Aeon War from the first appearance of the Rapine Storm, while others see it as the moment the
Esoteric Order of Dagon conquered the Azores. Most generally agree, however, that once the Migou ceased to be
our only threat the Second Arcanotech War ended. Though the prospect of an overall NEG victory seems remote,
the balance of power between antagonists has stabilized for the moment. New rapid mobilization tactics, increased
covert activity, and the introduction of Engels as a main battle mech have helped stem the flow of Migou incursions.
Even though the Migou have diverted significant resources to oppose Cultist activities, New Earth Government
strategists realize that they still fight a defensive war
The Children of Chaos cooperate with other Cults, but only maintain close ties with the Death Shadows. They wage a
secret war throughout the world, infiltrating government and large corporate organizations, spreading misinformation,
and trading in blackmail and secrets. The Children of Chaos routinely bury operatives within other Cults with the
understanding that any secret is valuable. Their intention is to destabilize New Earth Government and Migou control
and to hunt down their mortal enemies – the elusive Eldritch Society. Rumors say that the Children of Chaos are on
the verge of awakening something dark in the primordial forests of the Pacific Northwest.
The Disciples of the Unnamable carve their way through the New Earth Government. The Rapine Storm has rolled
over Southeast Asia virtually unopposed. With no mind toward occupation or rule, the Storm has left pockets of
mortal survivors in their wake who have taken to hiding in the jungle or underground to avoid extermination. The
Storm has recently begun a campaign of terror through the islands of the East Indies with only the NEG forces based
in Australia to oppose their advance. Other Rapine Storm warbands have violently pushed their way into China
decimating villages, military installations, and Migou population centers in Mongolia. GIA agents have recently
uncovered Rapine Storm plans to launch an offensive against NEG territory in Eastern Europe. In the meantime,
the Death Shadows target New Earth Government infrastructure in China and Japan for corruption and terrorist
activity. Japanese sex cults have experienced a sharp rise in popularity.
The Esoteric Order of Dagon walks its own road. Their war is not one of conquest, for that isn’t necessary. The
“talking monkeys” and the Migou infestation will both be swiftly dealt with once their sleeping god awakens. For now
it is sufficient to simply disrupt their enemies by cutting Atlantic telecommunications cables, raiding shipping, and
absorbing mortal communities for breeding programs. The EOD has only been known to attack in force when seeking
lost things or information critical to their search for R’lyeh. They have stepped up offensive efforts on the outer islands
of the Caribbean and at the Straight of Gibraltar. Under the direction of Dagon himself, the Esoteric Order recently
took Iceland from surprised Migou forces. Supposedly, they are using some of the surviving Migou as experimental
guinea pigs. The Esoteric Order also experiments with the various Human racial subtypes to determine if they have
any influence on the development of Hybrids. For this reason, they have absorbed populations in sparsely populated
areas throughout the North American northeast, portions of the European coast, the West Coast of Africa, and the
South American east coast. It is also rumored that the EOD is perilously close to finding their lost city.
Much like the New Earth Government, the Migou wage war on everyone. Migou territory currently encompasses
Scandinavia, most of Russia, a portion of Mongolia, Korea, New Zealand, a foothold on the southern tip of South
America and, most recently, Alaska. They also exert exclusive control over Antarctica – a more comfortable climate
somewhat closer to their home. Unlike the NEG, the Migou truly understand the cult threat and dread the return of the Old Ones.
Even through their genocidal hate of us, the Migou have opted to wage their war with equal tenacity on every front for this reason.
The bugs believe that a slow and methodical approach to conquest is best and they do not let their enemies regroup. The Migou
enjoy a certain amount of tactical support from their “Hive Ship” that dominates Earth’s orbit. In recent years they have placed more
emphasis on assimilated NEG mecha units to augment their forces. The Migou feel that these “conscripts” should be sufficient to replenish their numbers.
The New Earth Government fights a defensive war against the Migou on the other side. Though Migou military encroachment on
mortal civilization has slowed, it has yet to be stopped. The seat of government and the center of scientific research and technological
development, North America is the heart of NEG power. This heart has recently been threatened by the Migou. Along with supporting
military operations in Japan, China, Australia, and Northern Europe, the NEG has had to contend with the recent bug invasion of Alaska. Military forces are being rallied to support this new front. Public centers in Vancouver and Seattle are overloaded with fleeing Alaskan refugees.
The NEG states of Australia and China are each fighting on two fronts. Australia barely holds its own against Migou incursions
from New Zealand and Rapine Storm invaders from Southeast Asia. New Earth Government forces in China have to fight against the Storm coming from the west and south and a heavy push by the Migou from the north. Reinforcements filter from North
America through the Philippines, to China, though the outcome
for China looks bleak. Japan holds its own against Migou raids,
but military strategists predict that it could never stand against
the full might of the Migou once China falls.
Perhaps not willing to face the overwhelming threat of the Old
Ones, the New Earth Government believes that the Migou are a
more pressing and serious threat. The NEG has adopted a policy
of “containment” against the cultist menace. Government
agencies with help from the military isolate and minimize Cult
growth until such time as the Migou can be defeated – at which
point the full resources of the NEG will be dedicated to the
eradication of the Cults.
The Aeon War could very well mean the end of our home on
Earth. The NEG is preparing large-scale evacuation plans in the
final event that Earth must be abandoned. Escape, however,
would involve slipping past the Migou Hive Ship currently in
orbit – no mean feat. These plans fall under a secret initiative
known as “Project Mayflower.” Evacuation of the Earth is
commonly believed to be a last desperate resort. Government
officials realize that our prospects would be bleak with nowhere
to go and great danger not far behind.
Many have paused to wonder what happened to the off-world
colonies of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Veteran Nazzadi accounts
of the colonies’ fate have been sketchy at best. Most have
assumed that they were destroyed. NEG communications stations
periodically attempt to reestablish contact, so far to no avail.