top of page


The vast majority of post-American communities are small and sedentary in nature - they represent groups of survivors that, since the collapse of society, have carved out a small chunk of a big, empty world in which to live. In the earliest years of the post-American era, this meant any group of people that figured out how to avoid being killed by the dead and how to scrape together enough canned food to stave off starvation, but in 2024, only those that have learned to live off of the land remain.


Though they have each evolved in their own ways to suit their environment, the basic demands of a stable community - food, water, shelter, and protection from the dead - mean that many of them, though they may be hundreds of miles apart, have developed similar solutions to similar problems, which in turn has lead them to be largely recognizable, even to strangers.


Of these communities, most do not control any significant territory beyond a small area encompassing their own walls, either because they lack the manpower or the ambition to lay claim to any territory they do not need for their own subsistence... and likewise, they do not typically wage war for territorial gain, choosing instead to focus inwards.


In communities such as these, subsistence is a constant up-hill battle, easier sometimes than others. When the raiders are slain, the dead laid to rest, the harvest must still be collected, the sick must still be tended, and just as one winter ends, preparations begin for the next. Travel is nigh on impossible without a reliable source of new-world fuel, and those that cannot make it must pay dearly for its acquisition, if they can find it at all.


Most settlements are small nations unto themselves, with their own nascent cultures and traditions, though they are rarely divorced enough from their common evolution as to be unrecognizable to outsiders. They serve as a kind of standard for the post-American era, the basic unit from which all other powers born in the new world descend.


Whoever they have become in recent years, they all share one common thread; when the sky darkened, when every institution in which they kept faith failed them, gave in or was dragged under by the tide, they survived because of their own will, their own sacrifices, and no one else's.


With the end of a central government and the beginning of institutional anarchy - the end of all rules, and the death of almost anyone with the means or interest to enforce them - the natural priority of anyone who yet lived was to stay alive, at all costs. But when the scrabble for survival started to slow, when people began to gather and foundations were laid, there came those who would not be content with merely surviving, and who were inevitably drawn to greater, more ambitious pursuits.


Those that inhabit the post-American landscape have many different ideas on what should become of it, whether each community should be left to its own devices or should be brought together to form a newborn state, and whether that state should seek to reclaim the standards of the old world or seek to bury them somewhere deep.


It is these groups, fewer in number but much more powerful, whose desire to shape the future extends far beyond their own walls. They are united only in their desire to enforce their individual visions of what civilization could and should be.


What that vision actually means for them and the peoples around them varies massively; some seek to harness the weight of numbers and ambition to lay the foundations for new nations, wholly divorced from everyone and everything that came before - to reject the failings of the old world, and march bravely forward into uncharted territories or to pursue dreams long thought lost...


...and there are those whose desire is to seize the opportunity left by the lack of any governing body to carve out dominions of their own, to subjugate and annex their neighbors, and remake their territories in their own image. They may establish formal governments, even written laws, all in keeping with their preferences.


Whereas small communities typically make up one tight-knit settlement, these groups contain multiple - they may vary in strength from the low hundreds to thousands of people, staking their claim on the world, but they are characterized by an ability to marshal much more manpower and many more resources than their contemporaries. 


There is little in common from one faction to another, save that they have all become accustomed to running things their way, and will be loathe to relinquish the fiefdoms they have carved out among the open spaces.


Much of the post-American landscape is untamed, uncharted - populated by peoples even more diverse and distant from one another than ever before. Hundreds of communities inhabit the old state lines, scraping out a life for themselves wherever they can find safe ground, and many of them live within close proximity to other groups that they might never know existed.


There are, of course, always exceptions - such as the survivors that have forsaken sedentary lifestyles for nomadic ones, who move across long-erased borders with the greatest of ease. Each one is unique unto itself, having their own reasons for traveling and their own means for doing so... and after such a long time, the only ones left are the ones that figured out what they were doing.


They are united, for one reason or another, by their mobility. Working vehicles and the fuel to power them are still a rarity, and so most of these groups tend to favor the use of horses, mules, and other pack-animals as they travel. Some make it a point to avoid other communities, while others seek them out - all of them, however, host a healthy supply of their own fighters, having learned to rely on their own manpower for securing camp-sites and safe havens.


These groups are as unique and fascinating as they are fragile. A single attack, the loss of a handful of pack-mules, could spell destruction - and out on the road, there are few doctors, or engineers, with which to repair the body or the critical equipment upon which these bands rely. Corpse-fever and any number of mundane illnesses could easily wipe out an entire band, given half a chance, and proper care is uniquely difficult on the move.


Though they are more fragile in some ways, they are more resilient in others - their ability to pack up and leave at a moment’s notice is a luxury not afforded to most sedentary communities, who must stand their ground or abandon everything they have ever known.


bottom of page