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What remains of the United States has fractured into regions, vaguely resembling the ghosts of their former borders. Your story starts in what remains of Knox County, Kentucky.

The above map is fully clickable and interactable; each region and point of interest is marked with lore on the region or POI!


It is the year 1999, and as the turn of the century draws nearer, so too does the end of the world as we know it.


Tracking the exact origin of the disease that would be identified by the CDC as ‘AXN-99’ - a designation that means very little to anyone, now - is all but impossible without access to records that have been lost or destroyed long ago. There may yet be people who know where it began, and when, exactly - but for you, living in what was once the continental United States, it makes little difference where in the world it came from... because whether you are old enough to have been watching the news, or whether you were born long after the reign of the dead began, you know that the first wave of the new plague came from the Atlantic Coast, and consumed its population... slowly, at first - and then, burning through them like wildfire.


You know or have heard that the long-ago forces of that age endeavored fought to contain the infection along the Atlantic Coast, that they succeeded in defeating the dead but not the soon-to-die; that entire towns, entire cities, succumbed almost overnight, and from there overwhelmed the defenders, spreading in all directions behind their defenses.


You know that although the infection first began in 1999, the death-blow came in 2003, when the the beleaguered armies of the civilized world were losing ground, and panic spread through a once-powerful government - it is in this year that the country’s prized nuclear arsenal was turned against itself in a panicked last-chance bid to burn cities full of millions upon millions of dead, to staunch the flow of infected into the rest of the rest of the country.


You do not need to be told that it was not enough, for you can see with your own eyes that the living no longer rule their cities and towns.


From then on, those that were left behind were on their own, and there is no unified story to tell of what became of them, save what they left behind. Millions of people, those who were dragged down by a sprinting corpse and those who evaded gnashing teeth only to succumb to hunger or sickness... and those that yet live.


Your story - who you are, and how you came to be here, and if anyone came before you - is as a drop in the ocean, as unknown to the world as any of those that are already dead. You know only what you have seen and what you have been told, and the remainder of that history is buried with the people who lived it.


This is the world you now know - and it will mean something different to each and every one of you, today and in the days to come.


In recent years, as early as 2020, there has been a concerted effort to re-establish communications across the broken continent - the steady, fearless push of traders, explorers, and soldiers from further West, bringing you the first real, tangible evidence of the return of the nation from which you are all descended.


In particular, rail-lines that were once buried under two decades of dirt and blood have now been unearthed, and traders from far afield now bring news and luxuries from a place called the Western Safe Zone, where it is said that the United States of old yet lives.


You may have seen their soldiers, in the past four years, grinding steadily across the Great Plains - you may even have met them, or seen their messengers driving all across the country of the coming of civilization... and you may have seen the way the world reacts to them, some with joy, others with the marshaling of their strength and fierce resistance.


The time of isolation, of survivors living in silence and separation, is rapidly ending - the frontier in which you find you have been living is being eaten up from either direction. Whether it’s brought to you by the America of old, or by a new power born of those left behind, civilization is coming, ready or not.


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