INFO: Background

A tabletop RPG campaign based on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic books and Fallout computer games, where the world ended in a nuclear holocaust in the Sixties, and now mankind must survive the radioactive wastelands after the bomb. Savage Worlds (Pinnacle Entertainment Group)

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INFO: Background

Post by nemarsde »

Here you will find background for the Post-Nuclear setting. The setting itself is heavily inspired by the Fallout computer games and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic books.

Both try to create a setting that encompasses a genre of fiction. For LXG it started out as encompassing all Victorian fiction, for Fallout, all science fiction.

So LXG: Post-Nuclear is on one hand simply a combination of both, but on the other hand a completely new setting altogether.

Set some time in the '80s, in North Africa, about twenty years after World War III destroyed civilisation as we know it, much of the world has become a wasteland, inhospitable and hostile to life. It only started with nuclear holocaust, in the aftermath came nuclear winter and now the world is hotting up to a nuclear summer. Many post-apocalyptic tropes are present, such as cannibals, mutants, and zombies, the barren wasteland, remote outposts of survivors, and of course, plenty of studded black leather.

Recent History
Cameos (2010 Sessions)
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Post by nemarsde »

"War. War is ever-changing.

"It grows and mutates beneath that sea of tranquillity, peace, but it always comes back, bigger and uglier than before.

"After the bomb the light went out of the world. Fire-storms burnt brighter than a sun lost behind choking clouds of soot and ash, but in time they too died out and were swallowed by darkness.

"In the years that followed men became monsters and chaos reigned and the black rain fell. Some survivors fled into the wilderness, some barricaded themselves into makeshift fortresses. Without the warmth of the sun, a deathly cold crept from the north, bringing with it the ice sheets.

"The contaminated ice contained more than radiative fallout, it glazed over pockets of toxic chemicals and cunningly engineered germs.

"It was worst in the cities. In those that weren't incinerated by nuclear fire, populations plunged into extinction but not before degenerating into chaos. Gangsterism, barbarism, cannibalism. So it was to vampirism that many survivors turned. It offered strength, immunity to the cold, disease, poison and radiation... the un-life was some life and without the sun, without civilised constraints, a vampire was free. It was the curse that survived the destruction of the antediluvian world and it would survive the destruction of the modern world.

"It spread quickly, uncontrolled, packs of vampires would grow too large, split creating other, rival packs, each would bolster its numbers to compete for the elixir vitae, human blood. Very soon there was none to be had, the vampires withered, rotted, shambled, doomed to an eternity of madness.

"Europe was where the modern world had begun and ended. This dense cluster of civilisations was annihilated. It was if some terrible, planetoid-sized shotgun had blasted the continent from space.

"Of the survivors, most perished within the first year. The last vestiges of European civilisation trekked south as the temperatures plummeted, leaving behind a wasteland, an icy grave inhabited only by the living dead.

"Against the shores of sea, these people fought for survival. They fought each other, they fought the elements, they fought predators both natural and unnatural. And across the sea to the south, a golden shore beckoned.

"At its apogee, Europe had battled a tide of immigrants from the Dark Continent of Africa. Now the tide had turned."

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Post by nemarsde »

Note: Until 1920 this timeline is largely based on the timeline of the official LXG comic books. After that it diverges significantly. Many less "world-changing" events aren't included in the timeline. Since all the events shown have taken place in the LXG: Post-Nuclear setting, the reader must imagine a world, even historically, much different from our own. For example, in the 1960s orbital travel was as common (and as exclusive) as air travel was in the real-world 1960s. The "jet set" travelled the world in XL rockets rather than airliners.

  • 1891, 4 May. The Great Detective Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty disappear in Switzerland, and are presumed dead.
  • 1896, 10 September. Moratorium on Time Travel is signed by global superpowers after lobbying by H.G. Wells and William James. The burgeoning field of research is considered too dangerous.
  • 1898, 14 April. British passenger line, Titan, strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks around midnight.
  • 1898, Early July. Volcanic eruptions on Mars reported in the papers, foreshadowing what would actually be the Martian invasion of Earth.
  • 1898, 6 July. Captain Nemo's submarine, Nautilus drops anchor at Wapping Docks in London. The science-pirate is granted amnesty by royal decree.
  • 1898, Mid July. First London Blitz. Professor Moriarty launches air strikes on gangland rival, Fu Manchu, using an anti-gravity propelled battleship. The East End is devastated, the anti-gravitic powerplant, Cavorite, is lost during the fighting, and the battleship is crashed by agents of Her Majesty's Government. Moriarty and Fu Manchu are presumed dead.
  • 1898, 5-9 August. The War of the Worlds. The Martian invasion of Earth begins in Horsell Common, Surrey, and ends in South London, where the Martians are eradicated by Her Majesty's Forces using Dr Moreau's engineered germ weapon. Officially the Martian's defeat is attributed to the "common cold".
  • 1899. Captain Nemo's Nautilus and Mr Hyde are honoured for their role in fighting the Martians. Serpentine Park is renamed Hyde Park.
  • 1900, 5 November. British Lunar Expedition succeeds with Cavorite-powered ship, though Dr Cavor is killed. The Moon is annexed by the British Empire, but future space flights are abandoned due to the Boer War.
  • 1901. The British, weakened by the Martian invasion, lose the Boer War. The Airship Wars break out between the German Empire and the United States of America in an attempt to gain air superiority of transatlantic trade routes. Inner cities across Europe are devastated.
  • 1907. Having returned in 1902, Sherlock Holmes's enemies infect him with a weaponised virus. Using an illegal time capsule, Dr Watson puts Holmes into suspended animation before the disease can kill him, in the hope that future medicine will be able to cure the Great Detective. The capsule is kept a carefully-guarded Watson family secret to protect Holmes from his enemies.
  • 1908. The Channel Causeway, a bridge between the Cliffs of Dover and France, is opened 10 years over schedule.
  • 1912. Professor Challenger's expedition to Maple White Land. Afterwards the London Zoological Institute concludes that within all likelihood there is a "lost world" in the Amazon populated by prehistoric creatures and that the phenomenon may not be unique.
  • 1913, 14 March. The Paris Opera House is blown up by anarchists, killing over 200. The French blame the British, the British blame the French. Off the record, several agents of Her Majesty's Government are lost combating the anarchists.
  • 1914-16. The Great War between Britain, France and its allies, and the German Empire.
  • For his sterling work in counter-intelligence during the Great War, General Sir Melchett is made head of the British Secret Service. As "M" he commits British intelligence almost entirely to Black Africa, securing mineral rights in the Loompaland region.
  • 1933. Film-maker Carl Denham discovers Skull Island in the Indian Ocean. The island is inhabited by prehistoric creatures and Denham returns to Gotham City with King Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World (finally vindicating Professor Challenger). Kong breaks out and goes on the rampage. The giant ape accidentally kills millionaire industrialist Thomas Wayne and his wife in front of their son, Bruce. Bruce later becomes a famous big game hunter.
  • 1938, June. A meteorite threatens to impact in Kansas. It's blasted out of the sky by the defence grid of peace rays and the town of Smallville is saved.
  • 1939. Outbreak of World War II. The Great Dictator Adenoid Hynkel invades Austria.
  • 1941. Operation Rebirth. US Army tests Super-Soldier serum based on Dr Jekyll's formula but stabilised using Vita-rays. Steve Rogers is transformed and given the codename "Captain America". Adenoid Hynkel assassinated in Bavaria by rogue male, the big game hunter Bruce Wayne. Gellert Grindelwald takes power in Berlin, stoking the occult war.
  • 1945. End of World War II. In Britain, the Labour Party wins the postwar election.
  • 1945, Late April. Captain America lost somewhere in the North Sea while chasing the Nazi spy and master of disguise, Count Olaf.
  • 1947. Roswell Incident in New Mexico. Top secret government experiment at White Sands, led by Dr Tymak tests the "Time Top", a vehicle for travelling through space and time. Whilst in transdimensional flux it's struck by a UFO shaped like a large, blue cuboid. The UFO appears undamaged and continues on its journey into the future, but the Time Top spins out of control and breaks up over New Mexico. Men in Black cover up the true story by leaking a phony UFO story to the press.
  • 1948. As the Cold War deepens, the British Labour Party reforms as Ingsoc and becomes a totalitarian regime.
  • 1949. Jill Young brings her giant ape to Hollywood where it is embroiled in a plot by Dr Arthur Nagan to harvest its organs. After it escapes, Bruce Wayne sets out to shoot the ape but witnesses it sacrificing its own life to rescue a child from a burning orphanage. Realising karma has come full circle, Bruce establishes the Wayne Wildlife Fund for Nature.
  • 1951. Polar Expedition Six investigate the site of a crashed aircraft in the Arctic only to discover a flying saucer. Inside is a thing from another world, a plant-like alien organism that can infect other lifeforms. Most of the expedition are killed, but vital data on the alien is gathered by the US Government. Dr Pamela Lillian Isley is later credited with engineering the triffid, a plant that produces a highly-versatile oil, used in food products, fuels and plastics.
  • 1952, 27 November. In Britain, the first Big Brother dies, and is replaced by impersonator Sebastian Tombs. Cracks appear in the totalitarian regime.
  • 1953. The Korean War ends with America's nuclear bombing of PLA supply lines in Manchuria. The USSR provides China with atomic munitions and the Atomic Wars follow; a series of nuclear artillery exchanges between the USA and the PRC along the 38th Parallel. British Experimental Rocket Group attempts to re-establish the British Space Programme. The first mission, led by Professor Quatermass, ends in disaster when the astronauts are infected by a plant-like alien organism that grows and terrorises London.
  • 1953, December. American scientists test a Nazi Super-Soldier serum on a government agent, but without the Vita-ray treatment the agent becomes a violent psychopath. He's given a Stars and Stripes costume and is recruited into the CIA.
  • 1954. Senator John F. Kennedy elopes with Hollywood starlet, Marilyn Monroe, creating a scandal that hits the headlines of every newspaper in the Western world. Somewhere in the Congo, Bruce Wayne marries Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
  • 1954, 1 May. Operation Vulture, the USA expands its use of tactical nuclear bombardment, targeting North Vietnamese forces besieging the French at Dien Bien Phu.
  • 1954, 3 November. Nuclear fallout from the wars in South-East Asia poisons a Great Old One, driving him mad with indigestion. He rises from the depths and annihilates nearby Tokyo, before his corporeal form is dissolved by a chemical weapon. Called "gorilla whale" by the Japanese, he's thus cured of his ailment and decides the Japanese aren't so bad.
  • 1955. Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Whilst testing an inter-dimensional weapon that might be used to combat the Great Old Ones, an explosion kills Masado Banzai and Sandra Willoughby, leaving their son, Buckaroo, an orphan. He's raised by Professor Ho Yinsen.
  • 1956. Santa Mira, California, is invaded by a body snatching plant-like organism. Data collected from the Polar Expedition Six and the Quatermass Experiment shows the organisms are related and allows Men in Black to eradicate it.
  • 1956, 19 April. Soviet cruiser Ordzhonikidze is blown up in Portsmouth Harbour during a diplomatic visit, killing Nikita Khrushchev. The Russians blame the British, the British blame the Russians. An investigating newspaper concludes that the bomber booked into the Sally Port Hotel under the name of "Mark Hazard". Communist hardliner, Tov Kronsteen assumes the Soviet premiership.
  • 1957, 31 August. Harried and pursued by the press, JFK and Marilyn Monroe crash into the back of lorry on Route 90 in California, under-riding the trailer and are killed instantly.
  • 1957, 4-8 October. The Iron Man lands off the coast of Maine, sparking a security alert. The Iron Man later sacrifices himself to avert a nuclear disaster and is destroyed, the wreckage is taken to the Stark Industries "Paradise Ranch" at Groom Lake.
  • 1958, 8 May. Count Dracula returns to public life, inviting scholars to visit his library of ancient texts at Saint-Matthieu-des-Pyrénées-Orientales, amongst them the linguistics expert, Jayne Mansfield. She returns to the States and founds the Order of the Trapezium, promoting carnal existence (later revealed to be a guise for spreading the vampire curse). Prominent members include Hungarian Count Yorga, and Richard Nixon.
  • 1962, 8-28 October. Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviets build nuclear missile bases on Cuban soil. Kronsteen refuses to back down despite Nixon's sabre-rattling. Behind the Iron Curtain, the KGB are aware that Nixon is a servant of vampire masters and will try to avert a nuclear war, the aftermath of which would likely doom vampire-kind. Nixon parades the Iron Man Mk 2 to the press, with Tony Stark deriding Soviet weapons technology.
  • 1963, 24 November. Nixon is assassinated by a lone gunman as his motorcade parades through Dallas. The police capture the 1950s Super-Soldier who's blamed for the killing. As he's being escorted from Dallas Police HQ, he mutters "It's a joke. It's all a joke." to reporters before being shot and killed by an envenomed golden bullet. Vice President Merkin Muffley is sworn into the White House. The Pentagon orders DEFCON-1 and World War III begins. Fighting is fierce and dirty, and the war swiftly escalates to the use of tactical nuclear, chemical and bio weapons.
  • 1964, 29 January. Judgement Day. After a military coup, the United States presses the button, launching strategic nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union and triggering a nuclear holocaust. The sun disappears behind a cloud of soot and ash, plunging the Earth into a nuclear winter. Temperatures over most of North America and Eurasia plummet by -30℃. Chaos reigns. The curse of vampirism spreads rapidly amongst survivors.
  • 1967. Following a purging of the remnants of the British Government in the Kelvedon Hatch nuclear bunker, the Norsefire Party is founded by Adam Susan and assumes control. "Strength Through Purity, Purity Through Faith" is the last message broadcast by the British Government as the bunker is penetrated by Martian Tripods, returning to claim the British Isles.
  • 1968. Dr Robert Morgan, trapped in the ruins of Rome and surrounded by the undead, thinking himself the last man on Earth, discovers the Montesi Formula in the pages of the Darkhold, an arcane tome hidden in the vaults of the Talamasca stronghold. An apparent cure for the vampire curse, it falls into vampire hands when Morgan is captured by [url=h]the Volturi[/url].
  • 1968, 1 October. Intermingling of degenerate dhampirs with cannibals and mutants gives rise to the first zombie outbreak. The history books end here.

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Recent History

Post by nemarsde »

These may be my last words, I fear the story of my survival will shortly come to an end. My canteen is almost empty...

I don't fear the Reaper1. My sister once said I had a ghoulish streak, and perhaps it's this that has kept me going through the dark days.

But I dream of Cabot Cove2 more and more, a gentle place, O so beautiful and away from all this death. I often feel a sliver of regret at leaving good ole USA before the war, but at least this way I have not witnessed what became of it, as I have poor Europa.

Back in the States, when it looked like war was inevitable, Eleanor married her Senator Iselin3 and immersed herself in politics but my first love was writing. Taking up a special correspondentship with The Daily Globe4 I was packed off to Europe on an XL5 rocket with photographer, Jimmy Olsen6.

So I was in Germany at the start of World War 3 in '63, working on a story about secret drug experiments on G.I.s. I was interviewing an Army tank crew that claimed to have a tank haunted by the ghost of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart7. According to the crew he'd been sent to watch over them by Alexander the Great and was greatly offended by the company's designation, Team Yankee8.

I can say that I never met the ghost, though Jimmy swore he had photos I never saw them. Nixon's assassination lit the powder-keg, all around us exploded into violence. Jimmy was killed in an air-raid on Rhein-Main Air Base, where he'd been developing his photos. I was on the front-line, but that tank crew proved almost supernaturally lucky and kept me safe from harm until I could be evacuated to Paris.

Wednesday, the 29th of January 1964. The nuclear holocaust could not rightly be called Doomsday, as it lasted only 2 hours and 58 minutes9. Being quite the transatlantic socialite, I was staying with the Comte de Bleuville10 at Piz Gloria in St. Moritz11. All we heard were news flashes and then nothing. Nothing at all. The Comte assured me that we were "quite safe" at his mountain retreat, but I soon realised what that meant. He had been cultivating a harem of the finest stock from across the world. His grand plan to repopulate the Earth involved him as stud.

I refused to be a plaything of this megalomaniac, and needed to find out for myself what was happening. Stuff him and his cat, I escaped with one of the tougher girls, Emma Knight12, daughter of Sir John Knight of Knight Industries and an expert in the martial arts.

Was Piz Gloria's famed revolving saucer actually an alien spaceship that had transported us to another world? Had we boarded at Earth and jumped ship in hell?

We wandered the war-ravaged landscape of Europe, I with macabre fascination as I wrote an account of the end of civilisation. On re-reading my first work, Ashes, Ashes, Fall Down Dead13 I saw that I had affinity with the morbid and - and found it liberating! This was a dying planet after all, was it not.

That may sound strange, but some survivors reacted more strangely. Some were ecstatic, gleeful. Had the end been nigh for that long a time? For a while some Christian sects were weeping tears of joy -- the Apocalypse, Armageddon -- soon would be the Last Judgement and their immortal reward. When it didn't come, some lost faith, others made excuses. The Catholics decided the holocaust could not be the Apocalypse and took to calling it the "Flame Deluge"14 instead.

There were new religions also. Alone after Emma's death in '69, I followed Ziggy Stardust15 and his Space Cadets. Staring red-eyed at the watch Emma's father had given her, her parting gift to me, I wrote The Dead Must Sing16. My outlook was bleak, I felt desperately alone, and Ziggy's message of peace and love and hallucinogenic oblivion lured me in. During our pilgrimage north I came to realise that I was part of a suicide cult and that the "Arrival" in Greenwich would be of an unspeakable horror. Unlike the rest of his followers, I'd studied at Miskatonic University17. I'd had room-mates in occult sciences, and had to sit through more than one of Randy Carter's writing classes18. So I can't say what happened to Ziggy, I didn't follow him across the ice sheet to Greenwich. But he and his cult vanished after '73.

Rumours of Ziggy Stardust's demise came back from the deep freeze of the British Isles, along with alarming news that the Martians had returned. Their Tripods19 had been improved and had incinerated the emergency government in its bunker. Now they were securing their captured position, herding up the last human survivors.

I wondered how their infamous heat rays dealt with vampires and the ravaging hordes of zombies, and then it struck me--- the Martians drank our blood too, didn't they. Were they then not just an alien breed of vampire?

I resolved then to investigate the significance of blood-drinking and flesh-eating. At first the "Sky Dark"20, the nuclear winter, was an obvious explanation for the spread of the vampire plague. Cannibals could surely be explained by the scarcity of any other meat. Maybe, but I still felt I was missing some vital clue.

My investigation led me south to the ruins of Rome. The city's historic centre had largely been spared the devastation as the warheads appeared to have targeted the industrial heartland to the south. This and the Vatican had made it a beacon to survivors from across Europe.

Here World War 4 was fought, and as Einstein had said it was with "sticks and stones". During World War 3 the West's military might had been committed in Central Europe and Indochina, and all supplies of equipment and ammunition had been shipped to the front-lines. So like in ancient times, the brutal savagery in Rome was red-handed.

Regardless of the factions, vampirism had escalated the conflict early on and by the time of our arrival Rome was a city of the damned. Moving about the city was difficult and dangerous. This was over a decade since the holocaust and my own health was deteriorating. Fortunately I'd gained the protection of a team of ex-Green Berets21. These four men had been deep in the jungles of Vietnam when the bombs dropped and undertook an incredible journey across Eurasia, commandeering a 12-wheeled Landmaster22 from an Air Force base. They survived as soldiers of fortune, looking for other G.I.s or sea-passage to the States. I asked why they couldn't commandeer a plane, but apparently their sergeant was petrified of flying.

Either way, they didn't mind a writer joining them, at least I had a mission and that gave them purpose. The Messengers of Midnight23 details my stay in Rome, the secrets I uncovered about the curse of vampirism, about dhampirs and zombies, about blood and the elixir vitae24. Like the cancer growing in my own body, I learnt that vampirism was a terminal disease infecting our universe with no two strains the same, planets and civilisations had succumbed to it. And as the last mortal beings die, the blood-suckers must seek new wellsprings of life on other planets, thus does the disease spread.

Blood-suckers from all space-faring civilisations would be drawn to Earth, like wolves scenting blood on the interstellar winds. Suddenly I realised why the Martians had returned. Even what little human life now remained on Earth was worth controlling, across the vast emptiness of space what choice did they have? I'd heard rumours that the Martians had built factories in the British Isles where people were now bred and slaughtered. I believed them.

When I wrote The Messengers of Midnight I'd speculated that the nuclear holocaust must have been some conspiracy, creating the perfect conditions for the uncontrolled spread of the disease. What I couldn't decide was whether some vampire cabal had consciously engineered the downfall of civilisation, or whether it was the manifest will of the disease itself.

In '81 I saw the first sign that I'd gotten it dead wrong. Nuclear fire in the Northern skies, what caused it we don't know. Probably some defence satellite that had lain dormant for decades had launched its bright pebbles against a passing meteor. What we know is that the clouds of filth that choked the sky glowed, lit from above and for days even that defused sunlight burnt the skin. Many survivors along the coast were blinded and the triffid menace25 took root. Settlements had been trying to cultivate triffids for years, as food and fuel, but in the harsh nuclear winter the days were always dark. After the Great Blinding these stunted pot-plants grew enormously, uprooted themselves and started preying on blind survivors, who were now incapable of docking the triffid stingers.

The blast must have tore a hole in the sky, through which the intense rays of the sun could leak. For vampires caught out this meant a sudden if overdue cremation. For the zombies wandering mindlessly in deserted streets, unprotected, it meant massive burns, speeding their slow decay. For me it meant that the Sky Dark might not last forever.

By this time I was living alone in the wilds of Tataouine26 in North Africa and writing Endangered27. I'd left the snow-dusted ruins of Rome behind in '77 after we'd encountered the USS Sea Tiger28 in the harbour. The crew of this lurid pink submarine were celebrating the end of the world with one long party (aided no doubt by the gaggle of Army nurses they'd rescued on their voyages). Sea Tiger was on a Mediterranean cruise and bound for Greece. They would put me ashore on the Cape Bon Peninsula, I'd say goodbye to my ex-Green Berets and make my way on foot.

My, what a surreal journey that sea-crossing was! From the conning tower I saw a capsized ocean liner29, its keel silhouetted against black swells. I saw a shark the size of a school bus30 tear apart a fishing boat and eat the poor devils it carried. Early one morning I saw two ultra-modern aircraft screech overhead31 and disappear into the east...

But across the sea I finally found civilisation. Here the polyglot survivors, thousands of refugees from Europe had settled amongst the Saracens, creating many isolated hamlets and feudal realms along the Barbary Coast. It was a new dawn for mankind, and what was the first thing we did? The same as the last thing. Wage War.

World-weary I went south, a lone wanderer, craving to feel warmth in my old bones one last time. The temperatures in the desert swung from mild, mid-20 degrees during the day to subzero at night. I often dreamt of forests and savannah and wild animals, of greenery and clear streams, of paradise lost perhaps. The triffid menace had me thinking about the plant-like alien infestation that had been a periodic nuisance to pre-war Earth. The scientists and media had treated it like an annoying interplanetary fungus, each infestation an embarrassment that had cost the job of more than one politician over the years. Was there more to it than that? Had it been trying to gain a foothold on Earth too, like the Martians? Was this just the natural directive of any life form, or was there a subtle intelligence at work?

It was a gut feeling. Maybe it was old age, but this cave-dwelling hermit suspected there was a greater truth behind the fate of the world and had to know what it was before she died.

I needed access to military files and there was only one place I could think of that might house them. The strategic fortress-island of Navarone32. I started planning. Catching a ship at Algiers sea-port seemed like the only option. In a frivolous moment, I pictured crossing the Sahara and the Congo, and upon reaching the Victoria space-port33, rejoining 20th-Century civilisation in some orbital utopia. An appealing fantasy, but the hundreds of miles to Algiers would be an arduous enough journey, salt flats, arid mountains and open plains. To attempt the thousands of miles to Lake Victoria, through hostile desert and jungle, would be suicide. The fate of Victoria and the off-world colonies would remain a mystery to me.

I set out for Algiers then. The charming Lieutenant Holden of the Sea Tiger had told me North Africa's largest sea-port was still visited by crews for the salvage. I needed an intrepid crew with a hardy vessel for the voyage to Navarone. The sea had only grown more treacherous over the years and making landfall on the island would be an adventure in itself.

Leaving my cave and bearing north-west I had reached the salt flats of Chott Djerid when a sandstorm from hell descended on me. As the sun died on the horizon, the land was bathed in an evil red light. My strength was sapped by the ferocity of the wind and I fell. I could feel the storm tearing at me and in my delirium I saw shadow men, contorting around me, wanting to carry me off to hell34. I stabbed at them with my knife until finally, exhausted I collapsed unconscious.

I'm not sure how long I've lied here. I dug myself out of the sand, half-suffocated, but have yet to find my pack. Until I do I'm stuck here. I've used the water in my canteen to keep me searching for the jerrycan in my pack. The sky is aglow like it was in '81, but there's been no flash of an explosion this time. The clouds appear thinned and the temperature is soaring. I'm afraid... Is this the start of nuclear summer? Runaway global warming and the death of the planet? Are we all doomed after all? I don't fear that, I only fear not knowing why, why did we allow this to happen?

These last words are dictated into Emma's fancy wristwatch, and O how I wish she was here with me now. I will be nothing more than a tinny voice from the past, lost in the desert! I'm thirsty and so tired. This watch, this little box of tricks. It will outlast even my sun-bleached bones, to be found by some scavenger in the far-flung future.

I didn't press anything! A beep and codes flashing on the screen again! If only it didn't have so many buttons, I'm always pressing the wrong...

Wait! I see something on the horizon, far out on the salt flats and speeding silently towards me. A car like a black dart riding a mirage with dust in its wake35. Is this a knight in shining armour, come to save me? I must stand.

I am not done yet, it seems, and this may not be the last you've heard of Jessica McGill36!

Posts: 345
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
Location: UK

Recent History Footnotes

Post by nemarsde »

  1. "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is a 1977 Blue Öyster Cult single, popularised by SNL's famous "more cowbell!" sketch.
  2. Cabot Cove, Maine, is the fictional idyllic New England fishing village where many Murder, She Wrote episodes are set. Thus it is that 2% of the village's 3,560 population were murdered during the TV series' 12-year run.
  3. Eleanor, wife of Senator Iselin, is the vindictive puppeteer behind the assassination plot in the 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate, played by Angela Lansbury, who also starred in Murder, She Wrote.
  4. The Daily Globe is a fictional NYC newspaper in the Marvel Universe, used as a foil for The Daily Bugle, sharing many qualities with The Daily Planet of the DC Universe.
  5. XL rockets, capable of interplanetary flight, as portrayed in the 1960s TV series, Fireball XL5.
  6. Jimmy Olsen, the hapless young photographer working for The Daily Planet in the DC Universe, often in trouble, often rescued by Superman.
  7. An old warhorse of war comics, "The Haunted Tank" started out as a Stuart tank before being replaced by a Sherman and Abrams tank respectively.
  8. "Team Yankee" is the fictional tank unit in the 1987 novel of the same name. Written by Major Harold Coyle, US Army, it realistically depicts a World War 3 scenario, specifically mobile, armoured warfare and a Soviet invasion of Europe.
  9. In the 1959 novel, Level 7, "Push-Button Officer X-127" is ordered by his superiors to initiate nuclear war between the two superpowers. It lasts 2 hours and 58 mins and causes global devastation. Martians find X-127's diary in the ruins of modern civilisation.
  10. The Comte Balthazar de Bleuville is an alias of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, used by him in the 1963 novel, OHMSS. In the novel, Blofeld also cultivates a harem of the finest stock, but plans to use them for assassination not reproduction.
  11. The name of Blofeld's St. Moritz retreat in OHMSS, "Piz Gloria" was later given to the revolving restaurant used as the location in the 1969 film adaptation.
  12. The maiden name of The Avengers' Emma Peel was Knight.
  13. Ashes, Ashes, Fall Down Dead is the title of one of Jessica Fletcher's fictional novels.
  14. The Catholic monks in the 1960 post-apocalyptic novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz refer to the nuclear holocaust as the "Flame Deluge".
  15. Ziggy Stardust is the titular character from David Bowie's 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. According to Bowie, Ziggy is torn to pieces and eaten by the extradimensional beings he summons during the Greenwich Village climax.
  16. The Dead Must Sing is the title of one of Jessica Fletcher's fictional novels.
  17. Miskatonic University, Massachusetts, is a fictional New England institution that features in many stories in the Cthulhu Mythos. (This would place the university about 90 miles from Cabot Cove.)
  18. Randolph Carter is a character who features in many stories in the Cthulhu Mythos. A writer, over time he gains in-depth knowledge of the occult and in some stories teaches at Miskatonic University, possibly creative writing.
  19. The Tripods is a series of novels detailing the conquest of Great Britain by aliens from outer space that utilise giant, three-legged war machines, a la The War of the Worlds.
  20. "Sky Dark" is the name given by survivors to the nuclear winter in the Deathlands series of novels.
  21. Perhaps the most famous fictional ex-Green Berets, after John Rambo, are the titular characters in The A-Team TV series. The team's sergeant, B. A. Baracus is mortally afraid of flying. The team often also travelled with a writer/reporter.
  22. The 12-wheeled Landmaster is arguably the star of the 1972 film, Damnation Alley, based on the novel of the same name. The film starred George Peppard as commander of the Landmaster. He also starred as John "Hannibal" Smith, commander of the A-Team. In both film and novel, the characters have to cross North America from coast to coast.
  23. The Messengers of Midnight is the title of one of Jessica Fletcher's fictional novels.
  24. The legendary elixir of life has been pursued by many fictional characters, not least of which is Fu Manchu. In the "Gothic-punk" RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade the term "vitae" is analogous to blood, though in the Kindred of the East RPG it's explained that Western vampires consume the "life force" in blood, but that it can be consumed via other methods, much like the vampires in the 1985 film, Lifeforce.
  25. Triffids are a genetically-engineered carnivorous plant in the 1981 TV series, The Day of the Triffids, based on the novel of the same name. The plants only become a menace when an explosion in the sky blinds most of the populace.
  26. Endangered is the title of one of Jessica Fletcher's fictional novels.
  27. The USS Sea Tiger is the fictional pink submarine in the 1959 film and 1970s TV series, Operation Petticoat. Having a gaggle of Army nurses as passengers featured in both.
  28. The SS Poseidon capsizes in the Med, on its way to Greece in the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure, based on the novel of the same name.
  29. A giant, man-eating great white shark features in the Jaws film series, terrorising bathers throughout the 1970s and 1980s. By Jaws 3-D the shark had grown to 35 feet long. (The largest great white shark ever reliably measured was 21.3 feet long.) Unlike the locations in the film series, the Strait of Sicily is a likely place to find a shark of this kind.
  30. Two fictional ultra-modern aircraft of the time came from the 1970s TV series Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The latter made extensive use of props and designs from the former. The Terran Star Fighter Mk I was originally a design for the Colonial Viper in Battlestar Galactica.
  31. Tataouine is a rocky, desert region in southern Tunisia, famous for its cave-dwellings, and being the inspiration behind the Star Wars Tatooine, filmed there.
  32. Navarone is the fictional Greek island, heavily fortified by occupying Axis forces in the 1957 novel, The Guns of Navarone.
  33. In the Gundam series, Victoria Base was the centre of operations and spaceport for the Earth Alliance.
  34. This scene is reminiscent of a scene in the 1982 film, Conan the Barbarian, where Valeria and Subotai are attacked by shadow men in a storm as they protect Conan's body.
  35. From the famous intro to the Knight Rider TV series, where KITT cruises across salt flats towards the camera. In the series, KITT is built and operated by Knight Industries. Michael Knight communicates with it via a high-tech wristwatch.
  36. The maiden name of Murder, She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher was McGill.

Posts: 345
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
Location: UK

Cameos (2010 Sessions)

Post by nemarsde »

Continuing the intertextual nature of LXG and Fallout, each session in LXG: Post-Nuclear has cameos from fiction of the Sixties to Eighties.

Session 1

Ostler Gundigoot (The Temple of Elemental Evil)
"Mad Dog" Tannen, Stubble, Ceegar and Buck (Back to the Future Part III)
Rusty Peterbilt 281 (Duel)
Jun Horde (composite of the Jun Horde in The Beastmaster and the Janjaweed)
The Thenurian (Masters of the Universe)
Sophia Loren
Henry Wu (Jurassic Park)
Major Talbot (The Incredible Hulk)

Session 2

Book of Skelos (chronicle of the Thurian and Hyborian Ages in Conan stories)
Cantina (Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars)
Mutant Bikers, led by Pluto (Michael Berryman in Weird Science and The Hills Have Eyes)
M (Mary Poppins as a Maia spirit in mortal form, a la Gandalf the White from The Lord of the Rings. Later hints of White Witch)
Alliance of Democratic Nations (Command & Conquer: Red Alert)
Crashed Starflight airliner (Starflight One)
Syrian Camel

Session 3

The Mandingo (Mede, played by Ken Norton in Mandingo)
Jabba (as originally portrayed by Declan Mulholland in Star Wars)
Bebop and Rocksteady (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
The Monkey Man (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Jabba's vampire majordomo (composite of Bib Fortuna from Return of the Jedi and Nosferatu)
Setites (composite of Followers of Set from Vampire: The Masquerade, Serpent Men from Kull/Conan stories)
Setite Helijet (based on the Jumping Jack Helijets from Thunderbirds, themselves based on the Kamen HH-43 Huskie rescue helicopter)
Joshua/WOPR (WarGames. Cheyenne Mountain experimental space-time travel features in Stargate)
Thunderlips (played by Hulk Hogan in Rocky III)

Session 4

Maria (Maria Whittaker)
Aircraft tug converted into APC (as built by the prop department for Aliens)
GR13 (composite of GR13 from Universal Soldier and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Armakuni (The Last Ninja and sequel)
Boss Booth (Blue Velvet)
Jet (inhaled narcotic in Fallout and sequels)
T.J. Lazer (title character from in-continuity TV series in RoboCop)
Tojo Ken (composite of Tojo Ken from American Ninja 2: The Confrontation [pictured] and Reptile from Mortal Kombat)
Setite Slavers/Snakeheads (composite of Cobra from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero [pictured] and the Visitors from V)

Session 5

Silvanito, the silver-haired innkeeper (A Fistful of Dollars)
Mark III War Droid (Hammerstein's original model in ABC Warriors [pictured]
Eddie the Head (Iron Maiden's cyborg-zombie mascot)
Cobra Assault Cannon (RoboCop. Based on the Barrett "Light Fifty" sniper rifle)
Kruger Blaster (Dollman [trailer]. Based on the .475 Wildey Magnum pistol [pictured])
Alliance 7 mm Bullpup (if the British Empire retained more of its influence, it might have convinced the United States to adopt the 7 mm Mk1Z cartridge.)
Mobile Armoured Strike Command Module [M.A.S.K. featured several trucks/lorries but never a trailer for them to pull.)
Graboids (Tremors)
The Lord Necron (composite of Crystal Boy from Space Adventure Cobra and Brilhasti Ap Tarj from The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate)

Session 6
Setite Red Ninja (American Ninja 2: The Confrontation and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero)
No (composite of Dr No from the film and novel of the same name and the Mandarin of the Marvel Universe)
Setite Fast Attack Vehicle/FAV (based on Vamp/Stinger vehicles from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, themselves based on the FMC XR311 FAV [pictured])
Setite Land Battleship/LBB (composite of the H.I.S.S. vehicles from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, the Sandcrawler from Star Wars, and Grotte's 1932 Bolshevik Tank concept.)
Solex (The Man With the Golden Gun)
PHoton mASER (Star Trek)
G3 Nerve Gas (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam)

Session 7
Setite symbol, two serpents facing each other over a red sun (similar to Thulsa Doom's symbol from the Conan the Barbarian film and Mumm-ra's symbol from Thundercats)
Heat-seakers/shriekers (Tremors 2: Aftershocks)
Setite Mothership (The Visitors' motherships from V and the saucers from Independence Day)
FAB1 (Thunderbirds)
Seymour (Seymour Goldfarb Jr, aka "Roger Moore" as played by Roger Moore in The Cannonball Run)
Lizard King (composite of Jim Morrison, King Hiss of the Snake Men from Masters of the Universe, and Thulsa Doom from the Conan the Barbarian film)
British Library Special Operations Division (Read or Die)
Highwayman Hazmat Transporter (The Highwayman)
Speedcycle (Warrior of the Lost World)

Session 8
Cyberdeck (Burning Chrome, becoming a staple of the cyberpunk genre)
Jeeves Util (Jeeves and Ask Jeeves search engine)
Mangar the Dark (The Bard's Tale and sequels)
The Malefian Apocrypha (the "true story" behind The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate)
Darkhold (Marvel Universe)
Robinson Family (generic, "inspired by Swiss Family Robinson" family)
Beauty and Beast (the German Shepherd Dogs from The Hills Have Eyes)
Mummified matriarch (idol of the homicidal Sawyer family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)

Session 9
"Patch" (Wolverine from the Marvel Universe)
Triffids (The Day of the Triffids)
Templars (Warriors of the Wasteland)
Omega Kingdom (composite of Omega from The Warrior of the Lost World and the Enclave from Fallout 2)
CIA Megaforce Project (MegaForce)

Posts: 345
Joined: 20 Jul 2007, 20:04
Location: UK

Cameos (2011 Sessions)

Post by nemarsde »

Session 10
Cobra Khan (composite of Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and the Cobra from Mandrake the Magician)
Martian Tripods (The War of the Worlds and Tripods)
"Green Goblin" Highwayman (Maximum Overdrive)
Vampire biker punks (The Lost Boys)
Delos (the theme park in Westworld)

Session 11
Sheriff Chris (Gunslinger android from Westworld)
Claw Carver (Flesh)
Knight of the Leopard (The Talisman)
Baldrick (Blackadder)
The Black Adder
Ookla the Deathclaw (composite of Ookla the Mok from Thundarr the Barbarian and the Deathclaws from Fallout and sequels)

Session 12
Tripletron (based on Megatron and Blitzwing from Transformers)
Alliance Ground Attack Fighter (Terran Star Fighter Mk 1 from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Laputa Cloudbase (composite of the Gulliver's Travels Laputa and Cloudbase from Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)

Session 13
Cyborg Woodsman (composite of Tin Woodman from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and RoboCop)
Laputan Ziggurat (based on Tyrell Corp headquarters in Blade Runner)
Laputans (Gulliver's Travels and the Mysterons from Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons)
Bubo the Cyber-owl (Clash of the Titans)
Richat Enigma
Axe of the Deathwalker (demon-possessed axe belonging to Druss the Legend from Legend)
Power Sword (He-Man's magic sword in Masters of the Universe)
Palantír (The Lord of the Rings)
L30 Gatling Laser Gun (Fallout and sequels)
Dominic Santini (Airwolf)
The Mad Arab (Cthuhlu Mythos)
Lord Heshingley Croft (Lara Croft's father)
Black Circle (The People of the Black Circle)
Thoth, a god with a forgotten identity (based on Thoth in Rifts, i.e., Egyptian god of wisdom who is in fact the Great Old One, tricked into forgetting his identity)
Blood Weed (red weed from The War of the Worlds)

Session 14
Man-Serpent (Naga-inspired giant snake with human face in the Conan story, God in the Bowl)
Crimson Guard (composite of Emperor's Royal Guards from Return of the Jedi and the Crimson Guard from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero)
Variable Threat Response Battle Suit Mk 2 (War Machine from the Marvel Universe)
Martian Grav Tanks (Martian manta ray-like war machines in The War of the Worlds)
Viper Interceptors (from Battlestar Galactica)
USS Argo (Space Battleship Yamato, aka Argo, from Star Blazers)
Mad God's Chosen Form (King Ghidorah from Godzilla)
The Most Powerful Wizard in the Universe (He-Ro from Masters of the Universe)
The Blazing Lands (composite of The Blazing World and the Undying Lands from The Lord of the Rings)