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INFO: Gazetteer

Posted: 11 Feb 2010, 00:38
by nemarsde
This campaign is principally set in the Maghreb of North Africa. Scope will be given for adventures beyond this area, although this area covers roughly 5,782,142 km². The contiguous United States of America is only 8 million km² by comparison, Great Britain is a piffling 219,000 km². For all its size, in LXG: Post-Nuclear the Maghreb is host to a settled population of less than a million living souls.
  1. Barbary Coast
  2. Mauritania
  3. Morocco
  4. Algeria
  5. Tunisia
  6. Kalubya
Map of the Post-Nuclear Wasteland

Click for a larger version

Barbary Coast

Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 19:59
by nemarsde
In the years between World War 2 and World War 3, most of the Barbary Coast belonged to the French Union. From east to west, the Military Territory of Mauritania (French West Africa), the French Protectorate of Morocco, French Algeria, and the Beylik of Tunis (French Protectorate). There were only two exemptions from French rules on the Barbary Coast, the Tangier Interzone, a city-state, and the Republic of Kalubya in the west.

Interzone (International Zone) was an extraterritorial region encompassing the city of Tangier, governed by international law. Here a shadow war was fought between secret agents of the Alliance of Democratic Nations and the Reds, with deviants, spies and exiles from across the world as a backdrop.

Although there were many supporters of liberation from French colonial rule, the threat of attack from the Republic of Kalubya meant the French possessions needed the Union as deterrent against invasion.

After World War 2, Communist revolutionaries overthrew the interim administration and wrestled control of the country before it could even be granted independence by the United Nations. A republic was instituted and Kalubya's wealth exploded, buoyed by its exports of oil to Asia and illegal trafficking of the black-lotus into Europe. Soon Kalubya had modernised its military and showed its capabilities by seizing the Fezzan, a vast tract of land nominally claimed by the French. There was no strategic value to holding the Fezzan, but the French Union were suddenly faced with a belligerent and powerful rival in North Africa.

As World War 3 progressed, Kalubyan forces built-up in the Fezzan in what was perceived as ploy by the Eastern Bloc to draw Allied forces away from the European theatre. Prior to the war, Kalubya had been sponsoring terrorism throughout the Maghreb but now, rather than fight for Communist masters behind the Iron Curtain, they declared war openly against all imperialists. Their agenda was liberation of North Africa and although this meant trouble for the French, it was little help to the Red Faction as they couldn't count North Africa as a second front.

Kalubyan forces swept across the barren plains of Tademaït, with the aim of securing Algeria's oil reserves. Before the repercussions of this offensive could be realised, the United States pressed the button.

Most major cities on the Barbary Coast were obliterated in the nuclear holocaust at the climax of World War 3. Algiers, the largest port in the Mediterranean, and Casablanca, largest port in North Africa, were targeted by "dirty bombs", other cities were consumed by nuclear fire. The huge populations that had been sprawled along the coast relied on high-tech water utilities for survival, at the core of which were power-hungry desalination systems. Freshwater was not only vital for drinking, but for irrigation of crops. Armageddon wrecked infrastructure, power stations and oil refineries ground to a halt, and the end came quickly for the survivors.

The temperatures plummeted with the onset of nuclear winter. Black rain, laden with radioactive fallout, poisoned the groundwater and caused floods and landslides. The sea's bounty died and washed up along the shore in stinking, rotting drifts.

Inland was ravaged by race and tribal wars, battling for resources. The first European survivors to cross the Mediterranean were soon embroiled in these conflicts and within 10 years North Africa had reverted to a Mediaeval state, less civilised and less settled than it had even been during the rein of the Roman Empire.

It took another 10 years for order to re-establish itself, if only in isolated pockets. Cruelly, the most populous of these reborn civilisations became victims of their own success, being breeding grounds for the zombie plague and later, after the Great Blinding, rampaging triffids.

Then dark clouds broiled, the skies and seas turned red, and hurricane winds tore through the Mediterranean, devastating the coast. Nearer the Sahara, week-long sandstorms swallowed many unsheltered settlements and swept away entire nomad tribes caught in their path. Nuclear summer had arrived.

It is now over two decades since the nuclear holocaust. Freak weather occurrences are still a danger, but most days the sky is a fierce azure blue and the sun will quickly burn unprotected skin. The Mediterranean Sea is still murky, often frothy with pollutants at the water's edge, and a toxic red tide has been spreading along the coast from the east.

Animal and plant life on the Barbary Coast is scarce, persistent mutation in fauna is fairly common, such as two-headed livestock. There are likely more feral camels surviving in North Africa than human beings, many having survived inland away from the fallout zones. Although not exactly wild animals, these feral camels are the most common megafauna to be found in the wilderness.

There are no accurate maps of the Barbary Coast. Sea levels are constantly rising and so the coastline constantly changes. Human settlements come and go, some being semi-nomadic, some just starting out or dying out. Travelling between these settlements and trading can be very lucrative, but is fraught with danger. The heat is the greatest killer and spells certain death for the unprepared. Cross-country, temperatures routinely top 40°C and except for oases, drinking water can only be found deep underground.

Bandits and marauders are a bane to all travellers, even nomad tribes, but these aberrants never stray far from the old Trans-African Highway Network. There are some aggressive nomad tribes, mostly pure-blooded Tuereg Berbers, but they don't subsist on robbery and pillage.

The most well-known of the marauders are the heavily-armed Arab horsemen of Abdul Fakkadi, alternatively known as the Jun, Jinn or Janjaweed, and feared throughout the Fezzan. Along with military small arms, this horde also ride with light armour vehicles in their midst. They're known for their savagery and fearlessness in battle, adorning themselves with demonic motifs and eating the black-lotus to make them immune to pain.

Next, the Templars, highway marauders that patrol the 1,200 km stretch of highway between Algiers and In Saleh. They wear white clothing and use ruggedised road vehicles, small arms and body armour. It's said they even have rayguns for hitting fast-moving targets on the road and are based out of a working oil refinery in Ouargla. Having captured a traveller, non-whites are killed whilst whites are offered the choice of join the Templars or be killed.

The mountain ranges criss-crossing the middle of the Sahara are rumoured to be home to an ancient shape-shifting hyena cult, a rumour that has persisted from before the apocalypse. Little is known of them or their habits.

Ultimately, most human settlements are broadly hostile to strangers. Perhaps understandably.


The setting of Operation Thunderbolt, the Republic of Kalubya was a hybrid of Colombia and Libya.

The Alliance of Democratic Nations is the Western military organisation replacing NATO and SEATO in the Command & Conquer computer games.

Abdul Fakkadi is the despotic, megalomaniacal North African dictator in The Transformers TV series. He's known for his arrogance and contempt for all life except his own, he's even shown bawling and insulting powerful Decepticons.

The Jun Horde are bloodthirsty ravagers, nomadic horsemen in demonic garb that serve the forces of evil in The Beastmaster.

Male rape is used by the leader of the Templars to assert his dominance over the hero in the post-apocalyptic film, Warriors of the Wasteland.


Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 20:00
by nemarsde
There are no player characters with local knowledge of this place.


Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 20:00
by nemarsde
(Locations listed north to south.)

Interzone (Tangier)

There are no player characters with local knowledge of this place.


Delos was a high-tech tourist resort built at the plush oasis of Figuig, secluded amongst the Atlas Mountains on the Moroccan/Algerian border. Delos took the tourist-friendly garishness of Las Vegas to the next level, offering a role-playing vacation where guests really could get away from it all. The Delos resort was divided into three themed worlds, each sealed within a glass biodome; WesternWorld, MediaevalWorld and RomanWorld. Here guests could indulge rampant sex and violence in perfect safety, the victims being no more than life-like androids.

The complex was largely self-sufficient, making use of agriculture in the surrounding oasis and powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Although the androids AI core was carried in onboard firmware, supercomputers provided much of the supplemental AI behaviour remotely. Delos was served by an ancillary aerodrome, with most guests flying in from Interzone. There was also a purpose-built road link across the border to Mascara in Algeria.

Finding Figuig on foot would have been hard enough before the war, but now Delos is akin to a lost city, portrayed in tourist brochures and posters that survived the holocaust.

Delos thrived for many years after the holocaust, an oasis paradise coveted and guarded by its citizens. These were largely the staff and tourists that had been stranded at the resort. Cliques did develop, but it wasn't until a dread, demonic creature moved into the oasis and trapped the inhabitants inside the domes that cliques became factions and violent feuds ensued.

In Delos they called the demon the "Deathclaw", an enormous and ravenous flesh-eating predator that seemed unable to cross the artificial stream encircling the domes. It destroyed the agricultural machinery, it destroyed the androids sent out to replace them, every attempt to hunt it ended in bloody carnage.

As Delos starved, one of the tourists, once a wealthy industrialist, rose to prominence; "Claw" Carver, so named because he wore one of the demon's claws instead of the hand it had bitten off. To this day, this claw is the only trophy they have and the closest Delos has come to ridding themselves of the Deathclaw.

Of those few survivors from the wastelands that find Delos, fewer still make it through the oasis to the domes alive. The themed worlds are starving and at constant war, the androids, confused, are loyal to their "home world" and subservient to their humans. Newcomers are forced to take sides. Although Delos is hard to find, it's even harder to leave.


Delos is the android-populated pleasure resort in Westworld. Claw Carver is the overseer of a WesternWorld-like resort, besieged by dinosaurs in Flesh. His claw, however, is taken from a Deinonychus. Deathclaws are the trademark apex predator in Fallout, originally modelled after the Tarrasque from Dungeons & Dragons.


Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 20:00
by nemarsde
(Locations listed north to south.)

Population: 185,000

The Mediterranean's largest port was attacked by "dirty bombs" in the war, so-called "weapons of mass disruption" designed to paralyse large urban population centres. With over 3 million people living in the metropolitan area, mostly Europeans used to a modern, urban lifestyle, Algiers had always teetered on a knife-edge. Entirely reliant on complex, high-tech systems for its survival; power stations, desalination plants, food imports, it only needed a shove to send the city plunging back into the dark ages.

The high radiation levels in Algiers may not have been immediately fatal but still caused lasting harm. Cancers and tumours would be rife in the survivors, and genetic mutation would corrupt the offspring of those that weren't made infertile. By far the greatest threat the survivors faced was each other.

The French Union had been decapitated. Paris had its own problems to deal with and its overseas territories were cut off. Concrete ruins cannot sustain life. The colonial government had abandoned Algeria, there was no orderly, stoic attempt to organise the survivors. It was every man for himself, and when groups did form, they were around racial and tribal divisions. There were finite resources in the city. Only so many shops to plunder, so many warehouses to raid. The descent into barbarism was inevitable.

Algiers is now a dusty, sprawling ruin, its streets choked with twisted rubble. The hundreds of thousands of survivors that didn't flee the city have been decimated by war, famine and plague. The gangs of savages that prowl Algiers are cut-throat, hostile to all outsiders. There's no trading with them, and travellers venturing into the city must either have overwhelming firepower or know how to avoid attention.

In recent times a fifth horseman has arrived in Algiers. Undeath. News and salvage from the city has become more scare and rumours speak of a deranged, ashen-faced vampire with no lips, spreading the curse and turning downtown Algiers into some kind of nightmarish carnival of death.

So it seems the city may be on the verge of a revival, but one even less welcome than its destruction...

"The Stop"
Population: 200

Ménerville was a small "Black-Foot" or colonial town before the war, located on a remote and sheltered mountain pass where the air was cool. It was otherwise notable only as a rail depot and truck stop on the Trans-African Highway.

Due to its isolation and over-reliance on through traffic, the town's already tiny population dwindled rapidly after the war. There were just a few hermits remaining when a Canuck soldier wandered into town one day. Taking a liking to the climate, the isolation, the rugged, steep hills, the soldier settled down and took over the local bar. Going by the name of "Patch", the soldier has been there ever since.

Over the decades more European refugees have bolstered the town, drawn by fertile soil and the "live and let live" attitude insisted on by Patch. If you can make yourself useful but otherwise mind your own business, you're welcome to stay. Otherwise, stop, rest a while, then be on your way. To travellers on the highway, the town has become known only as "the Stop" between Algiers and Tébessa. Its ramshackle, colonial-style buildings stand amidst a menagerie of makeshift lean-tos and greenhouses, and present an unimposing, hard working township.

Even to bandits and biker gangs, the Stop is an important waystation and not to be abused. The townsfolk produce fresh fruit and veg, biofuel and spirits and even meat. The steep slopes provide grazing for livestock and shepherds roam the northern escarpment of Djebel bou Arous, from where the Mediterranean can be seen.

For the town, convenience is their security. In the past a few rogues have tried to set themselves up as satraps but it doesn't usually take long for them to fall foul of Patch, and what he does to them isn't very nice.


"Patch" is the alias used by Wolverine when he ran a bar on the island of Mandripoor.

Population: 1, and an unknown number of slaves

Even before the war, the town of Ouenza was regarded by local people as Hell on Earth and the apocalypse is unlikely to have improved it. It may not have made it any worse either.

Ouenza was a filthy, ramshackle sprawl built around a vast open face iron mine and works. The town choked and under a ruddy cloud of dust, laden with sand; in the summer they sweltered, in the winter they froze. The dust settled after the war and for years the foundries and mines of Ouenza were silent and deserted, but sometime in the past decade something or someone moved in and woke the beast.

Being short on brains and often lips, the zombies of Tébessa that now sell scrap metal to the town call it "Irons". Whoever runs Irons, they're eager to trade in some unusual salvage and are rumoured to pay off marauders to ensure their salvage gets through from the coast. Doing business with Irons isn't straightforward, however, and would-be wheeler-dealers from Tébessa rarely return. Recently some exotic arms and munitions have started to appear on the streets of Tébessa, military grade hardware more sophisticated in design and manufacture than the crude Kalashnikov and Uzi clones made in Tébessa sweatshops. Rumour has it they're from Irons.

The truth is that Irons is lorded over by the cyborg-zombie and adventurer, Eddie the Head, who oversees a workforce comprised of other undead, captured slaves and a menagerie of pre-war robots. The latter also constitute Irons formidable automated defences, anti-personnel, anti-tank and even anti-aircraft.

Eddie loves machines and explosions, and his motives beyond this are as much of a mystery as his origins. Either way, wanderers are best advised to avoid Irons, lest they end up enslaved, toiling in the quarry or furnaces, or guinea pigs for some weapon test, or even a light snack.


Eddie the Head is, of course, Iron Maiden's mascot and has even starred in his own video game/album.

Tébessa, aka "Boothville"
Population: 70,000

A hive of scum and villainy, the town of Tébessa is built around an odd assortment of ruins; the ruins of Roman and Byzantine empires standing alongside those of the French colonial empire. Amphitheatres and triumphal arches, labyrinthine temples and basilica complexes, next to concrete mine works and processing plants and skeletal industrial machines. On top of all this is the post-war town, a bastardisation of 20th-Century and traditional Arab Berber design. All of it dusty and sun-bleached.

In the event of global nuclear war, surviving Alliance personnel had orders to evacuate Europe and regroup at one of several emergency assembly points in North Africa. Matemore Airfield on the outskirts of Tébessa was one of them, selected for its well-preserved airstrip, water resources and remote location. Although it was stocked with emergency supplies, it was unmanned and out of the way; unlikely to be targeted by the enemy.

It wasn't, and in the years after Armageddon survivors started arriving in Tébessa, mostly rear-echelon Alliance personnel and the train of refugees that had gathered behind them. Unfortunately, the local hoodlums had already overrun Matemore Airfield and claimed the supplies, and the masses of starving newcomers, representing Western imperialism, were not welcome. So began the first Tébessa gang wars and the fighting's never really stopped since, fuelled by an influx of violent, desperate men from Europe and the surrounding lands. Allegiances and motives have shifted over the years, and the stakes have changed. The emergency supplies ran out long ago but a living, breathing, eye-gouging and fornicating town has grown around them.

Tébessa can be overlooked from the foothills of the Aurès Mountains that shelter it, a chaotic mess of a town surrounded by an arid plain. Even during the day, main street is thronged with a menagerie of pedlars, hawkers and charlatans, even a few honest businessmen, and ducking and diving between them are the street Arabs, the pickpockets and cutpurses. These stalls are usually set-up in front of a workshop or store. Under the cramped awnings camels, horses, oxen and other beasts of burden create moving and often cantankerous obstacles, whilst the middle of the street is no less treacherous as bikes and trucks plough along the road, spewing noxious smoke and rarely swerving to avoid anyone who gets in their way.

Down the unpaved, rubbish-strewn side streets are the cantinas, taverns, hostels and brothels, along with the gated yards of a few mechanics, restorers, and the town's cut-throat patricians. The lord of these is the insane gang boss, Frank Booth, of whom little is known except for his paranoid and violent tendencies, and his addiction to the Jet inhaler. Through subterfuge and outright betrayal, Booth has eliminated all his gangland rivals in Tébessa, and the town's nickname "Boothville" is increasing common parlance. There are many gangs in Tébessa, some are semi-nomadic, but they all pay tribute to Booth, as do all townsfolk through gang protection rackets.

Matemore Airfield is now the site of the Tébessa junk yard, where the town's refuse is piled creating maze of rusting metal and decaying plastic. Already picked clean before being discarded, the refuse of a post-nuclear town is little more than raw materials. Apart from water, it is the one free resource in Tébessa. Anyone can cart their junk out to the old airfield and if they need anything from it later, help themselves. Otherwise the town would have been buried under its own junk by now.

There are "ghouls" that lurk in the yard, radioactive zombies that fled from the coast after the bomb. Some are more sane than others, some even trade metal they've salvaged in return for meat and there's an undead wagon train every season that ships metal north where it's said to be reprocessed.

Tébessa has other undead denizens too; apart from zombies, there are more than a few vampires stalking the town at night. They zealously guard their dark gift, however, and are even more protective of the town's prosperity. It's as much an oasis to them as it is to mortals. Their bloody deeds are but a small part of the town's nightly mayhem anyway.

Undead, mutants and bestiary of monsters have fought in the gladiatorial arena of Tébessa's Roman amphitheatre. The enterprise is run by a fat pig of a man, the gangster called Jabba. Such is his flair for running a gladiatorial arena, he's one of the few prominent figures in town that haven't been offed by Booth. Bets are made with bottle caps, a local token currency that evolved out of the military supplies left by the Alliance. Bottle caps hold their value in and around Tébessa, but are nearly worthless beyond the first rise so few caps leak from the town.

Although the death matches have an almost a religious following in the town, there are rumours of an underground snake cult flourishing beneath the streets, led by the mysterious Lizard King. Little else is known of it, but if it exists it does so at Booth's behest.


Tébessa is an archetypal "wretched hive of scum and villainy", whilst Frank Booth is the iconic villain from the film, Blue Velvet. Several elements such as the mind-altering drug, Jet, the "ghouls" in the junkyard and bottle caps as currency are taken from Fallout. Jabba relates to the original Irish actor that played Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars. "The Lizard King" is one of Jim Morrison's alter egos.

Population: 825

Once a centre of resistance to French colonial rule, by the middle of the 20th Century Mascara had abandoned its combative history and embraced a multi-cultural future. The decrepit ramparts were abandoned and a thriving market created, new building works began to modernise the city.

When nuclear holocaust came, Mascara had its throes of violence and anarchy, but some how, for some reason a community spirit endured. They were all soft-living urbanites, ignorant of the old ways, but with the city's only remaining leaders coming from the local community, they put their best foot forward and muddled through some how.

It was never easy, and then the Templars came and the non-white population were forced into the hills to save themselves and their neighbours. The people of Mascara maintained an awkward unity. Sometimes they would have prior warning that the Templars were in the area and the non-whites would take to the hills again. Sometimes they wouldn't; the Templars would roar out of the desert and kill every non-white they came across, looting and pillaging, leaving behind a city trembling in grief, shock and anger.

Now Mascara is mostly deserted, much of the city lies in ruins and half-buried by sand. Travellers arriving in Mascara will be greeted by a ghost town. Signs of habitation, hastily abandoned only minutes ago. These are a people who live in fear, who hide in the sewers at the approach of strangers. And these are a non-white people...

They will tell a tale of how one night, lights in the sky were seen from afar. Thinking the Templars had a flying machine, the non-whites took to the hills, and soon the lights came and hovered over Mascara. Screams were heard and many bright flashes of light seen, and in the morning the lights and the white people were gone.

Strangely, the Templars haven't been seen since.


The multi-headed dragon goddess of Babylonian myth, monstrous embodiment of chaos. Rumour has confused her name with that of Tiaret, what was once a renowned farming town in Algeria.

According to the rumours, since the war "Tiamat" has been reoccupied, though farming is still the main trade. The livestock is now human, treated as cattle by the mysterious overseers.

Tiaret was also notable for the Jedars, ancient burial mounds arrayed in a valley, each topped by a stone pyramid. One of the few geomantic nexus points in the Maghreb west of Egypt.


A centre of pre-war oil industry, it's rumoured that the Templars still maintain a working refinery in Ouargla, but the approaches are mined, barricaded and guarded by the white-clad marauders. The Trans-Saharan Highway is the nearest surfaced road to Ouargla, and it's over 100 km away to the west and patrolled by the Templars.


It is the goodies in The Road Warrior that wear all white, white body armour; protecting a working oil refinery from the marauders.


The last stop on the Trans-Saharan Highway, it was once Fort Laperrine, a remote military outpost built amidst a small Tuereg Berber village of red clay buildings. Most survivors from Europe fleeing south took this route, aiming for Lake Victoria, with the only other safe passage across the Sahara being the Cape to Cairo Road, over 4000 km away in the east. Having already endured the barren, sand-swept crags of Tassili n'Ajjer, many survivors ventured no further than Fort Laperrine's oasis and settled. It's said they built a town out of junk from the abandoned convoys, creating it in ingenious and elaborate devices. Stories now vary between the town having died out, or thriving still. Few travel that far south, fewer return.


Junktown is a direct reference to the original Fallout game, where Junktown is a small town in the wasteland, founded by ex-Army soldier, Killian Darkwater (voiced by Richard Dean Anderson).


Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 20:01
by nemarsde
(Locations listed north to south.)

Omega Kingdom
Population: 3000

Tabarka Island has been dominated by its Genoese fortress since 1542. It still is, but now the island has a curtain wall built of concrete, with pillboxes, gun emplacements and other hardened defences.

These were built by the Alliance military enclave that took up residence in the castle after the war. They're led by the One, an Alliance general cum messianic leader of a militaristic, white supremacist religious cult. According to this enclave's beliefs, they are the Last Kingdom of Heaven (hence "Omega Kingdom"). All outsiders are damned unless they can be brought into the faith. But worse than infidels and heretics are the anathema, those beyond redemption and who cannot be permitted to live.

For the Omega Kingdom, anathema account for a large swathe of the remaining survivors in North Africa; non-whites. It was their secret police, scouring the wastelands after the war, that grew into the bane of the Barbary Coast, the mechanised gang of marauders calling themselves the Templars.

Insular in the extreme, no outsiders have ever returned from the Omega Kingdom alive. The ruins of the town are signposted "Danger Minefield", and the decaying remains dotted around are evidence of bouncing and directional mines, and flame fougasse. The rocky shoreline is distinguished by the once famous Tabarka "needles", spires of rock that jut into the air. Beyond them, some 350 metres offshore, is the island, rising out of murky waters and crowned by the Mediaeval castle. With the surround sighted in for mortar, MG and sniper fire, no outsider has ever even reached the causeway, let alone tackled its (likely) formidable defences.

Once powerful, in recent years the Omega have started to suffer from their isolationism. Their society has become more mediaeval as the second generation replaces the ex-servicemen and women of the first. Their resources are deteriorating and they rely increasingly on trade with the Templar splinter faction.

They still have all the might of an Alliance battalion, making them, coupled with the Templars, by far the most powerful force in the wasteland.


The Omega are the villainous, black-clad Neo-Nazis in Warrior of the Lost World.


Under the French Union, Tunis was turned into a modern European city, a commercial hub for the French and Italian Riviera. Rather than spoil the fashionably quaint elegance of these old towns and villages, Tunis was largely bulldozed to accommodate gleaming new towers of trade and commerce. Relics of the old city were preserved as "culture", but by the outbreak of World War 3 metropolitan Tunis had a population of millions, nearly a million of which were French or Italian.

Industry was centred in the Radès district, but the port had relatively little strategic significance in the Mediterranean and was not targeted for nuclear bombardment. No sudden death for high rise, high tech Tunis, it died a slow, lingering death as the millions found themselves without food or water, gas or electricity. War and strife followed, then came the plagues. Within a decade Tunis was a steel and concrete carcass, picked over by tribes of feral savages.

But recently the weather turned, the shift from nuclear winter to nuclear summer announced by freakish weather of extreme violence. An immense rogue wave hammered half the city, hurled the rusting hulks of cargo ships like spears through the sides of skyscrapers, drowned most of the survivors or ground them into mincemeat. Here and there, sealed containers that had been carrying toxic waste were tossed up and cracked, spilling poisons where they landed.

Today Tunis is avoided by all except the scavenger gangs probing the ruins for anything they might use or otherwise sell to salvage merchants.


A skyscraper speared by a cargo ship, an iconic image from the opening scenes of the Fist of the North Star film.

Population: 200

Pre-war Hammamet was known for its secluded, luxurious villas and swimming pools, their artfully designed gardens enclosed and shaded by date-palms. Here wealthy Europeans could live as recluses, all the style and elegance of the French Riviera without the razzmatazz.

After the nuclear holocaust the town was left largely deserted like most others. Many people left, hoping to find the authorities restoring order in the major cities or off to fight in the race and tribal wars that were raging across North Africa.

Of the remaining townsfolk, most reverted to sheep and goat-herding, growing patches of wheat and other vegetables. One survivor was a Swiss ex-policeman turned nightclub owner, Ostler Gundigoot. Refugees from Europe began arriving on the Cap Bon after crossing the sea from Sicily and most drifted south to where they expected to find Europeans. They found Gundigoot and soon he was doing business with the passing refugees, dealing in food, alcohol and prostitutes. Some refugees settled in the town and it became known as "Hommlet". Most English-speakers had persisted in calling Hammamet "Hamlet" and this was further corrupted in the local polyglot. Gundigoot's dealings, meanwhile, became the Inn of the Last Welcome Wench. There was a ring of truth to the name.

Nowadays, Hommlet is a small village built in and around the ruins of the 15th-Century medina, inhabited now by a mostly European people. The medina walls are crumbling and topped by tufts of dry grass, roamed by herds of goats, the barbican is partly blocked by rubble. The narrow alleyways inside the walls are lined with patchwork adobe buildings, often with makeshift bridges thrown across from rooftop to rooftop. There are some dirt-strewn courtyards, most are piled with salvage from the old town of Hammamet. During the hottest hours of the day, the village appears almost deserted. Leathery-faced men might lounge in shaded doorways smoking hash, a few boys might be out tending the livestock. The villagers of Hommlet avoid the harmful rays of the sun, venturing out only when necessary and rarely exerting themselves. They may appear idle and withdrawn to strangers, but this plodding pace saves energy and Hommlet is a close-knit community that has survived the ordeals of the post-nuclear world. Attackers have been surprised to face a barrage co-ordinated gunfire in the past, from a village armed with many pre-war Italian shotguns and rifles.

The Inn of the Last Welcome Wench squats inside the medina, a large white-washed building with a sun terrace, and a well and stables in its sandy yard. It offers some comfort to weary travellers for a small price.

The old town of Hammamet has long since been stripped of everything, even nails, and with the rising sea levels it has now largely been washed away or submerged, though some tidal islands remain. One, along the beach to the west, is rumoured to be cursed. The 13th-Century stone wall that once surrounded the town still stands on the landward side but is half-buried in stretches and toppled in others. People only live within the medina.

Hommlet has friendly relations with several nomad tribes, trading with them and wandering rag and bone men. It has no ties with Citadel, 85 km to the south.


Hommlet, the Inn of the Last Welcome Wench and Ostler Gundigoot are all references to the village in D&D module T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil. We're aiming more for an Spaghetti Western atmosphere with this version, however, like the village of Agua Caliente from the climax of the film, For a Few Dollars More.

Population: 30,000

The first fortifications on the site of Sousse were built by the famous Roman conqueror, Scipio Africanus. Sousse was a major naval port up until the 20th-Century, the formidable Arab fortifications that still stand dating back to the 9th Century. The Arabs built seaward battlements around the harbour, encircling the medina and its mosques, with a tall ribat overlooking the northern headland. Extending inland the battlements joined atop the crest of a hill with an impregnable kasbah.

These fortifications were of little use in any of the three World Wars, as the harbour they protected was too small for modern war ships. The town's labyrinth of flat-rooved and terraced buildings, narrow streets and alleys, some less than a metre wide were nearly as old as the battlements, offering appalling conditions for an occupying force and unable to accommodate a military vehicle larger than a courier bike.

The same restrictions deterred industry, and so Sousse attracted no attention from the outside world, except for a few historians and European day-trippers in their yachts. There was no electricity, no plumbing, they cooked on coal fires with tagines or with paraffin stoves. Water came from underground reservoirs that also fed 2,500 km² of olive groves outside the walls.

Far from any major cities or military bases, for the town of Sousse the nuclear holocaust was just another day. Most of the townsfolk didn't even have radios. Then the weather changed, the days became dark and cold, winter's were harsher and heating more demanding. Rains drowned the olive groves and the fishermen came home empty handed.

Even with their frugal, basic lifestyles, Sousse's densely-packed population started to suffer from starvation and disease. It was the arrival of refugees that saved them. Survivors of many horrors, these refugees had already proven themselves in the post-nuclear world and brought with them a store of skills and knowledge. Most came from Europe, and being homeless they sought only shelter and didn't expect to find any authority in North Africa that would help them.

There were arguments and scuffles between the remaining townsfolk and the first refugees, but it was obvious that the two could help each other. So it was that within 10 years Sousse's fortunes were reversed and the town became a bastion of civilisation, known locally as Citadel. Strict laws governing the everyday lives of the townsfolk were enforced by the militia, proving effective in fighting pestilence and other infestations. Order was maintained at first by civic mindedness, later by fear.

All this, together with fighting off marauders and preventing revolt, led to Citadel becoming increasingly draconian. After a period of civil strife in '78, seven beautiful young women assumed absolute power. Their regime was more vicious than before, and from behind the walls of the kasbah came rumours of these women's dark and disturbing appetites. They became known as the Stricts or Stryx, and so horrendous were the stories that people started to whisper of "demons".

Citadel is aptly named. The kasbah dominates the town, slumped on the hill like a tyrant behind its pale stone walls, the colour of bleached bone. Being entirely self-sufficient the town has developed a culture of its own, the people wear fashions based on Mediaeval patterns, there are no motor vehicles that can navigate the streets so donkeys and mules are a common mode of transport. There's little evidence of modern technology out of sheer necessity. What use is even an everyday paraffin stove if there is no paraffin? "Sousse" as it was once known, is probably not so different now as it was in the time of the Fatimids.

Its walls are well-defended, however. The guards may only be equipped with crude lamellar and scale armour, pikes and crossbows, but they have permanent garrisons, they are drilled, they're an effective fighting force. The populace aren't oppressed, even if there's an oppressive air to Citadel. They've willingly sacrificed their freedom for security.

Outsiders are allowed in Citadel, though the toll gate is carefully watched. "Cupronickels" are the local token currency, pre-war loose change that was designed to last and the gate toll varies, depending on how charitable the gatekeeper's mood is. i.e., For an outsider, doing business in Citadel involves baksheesh.


The Stryx featured in the controversial TV series of the same name.


This deserted ruin was once the third most holy city in the Islamic world. Built deep in an oasis by Arabs in the 7th Century, the city's kernel was the Mosque of Uqba, the oldest site of Muslim worship in the Maghreb, on which all North African mosques of later ages were modelled. Well attended by religious scholars, Kairouan became a centre of learning not just for Islam, but also Judaism. Muslim and Jew living side by side in austere isolation, the city at first supported by its oasis and then by Sousse.

Little changed in Kairouan over the centuries, like Sousse its size was limited by natural resources and under the French Union there was no programme of investment. After the bomb the few who remained in Kairouan were mostly mullahs and imams, most of the city's residents fleeing to the coast.

With no families in the city, even these faithful few died out eventually, leaving behind a dusty, crumbling ruin surrounded by sickly brown shrubs where thick verdure had once been. The oasis was spoilt long ago; trees cut down, earth built on, and the natural water course broken. There's nothing here for a survivor in the post-nuclear world, except perhaps ghosts.


A multi-billion dollar project called Desertec saw the construction of a solar power network in North Africa, intended to feed Europe's addiction to energy. Haïdra was the site of a solar pit power tower, chosen because of the presence of vast underground water reserves.

But it was the Romans that first discovered these reserves and exploited them, building the ancient city of Ammaedara around them. Located in rugged terrain populated by hostile tribes, such a metropolis could never survive without constant supply and the military support of a well-ordered empire. So it was that the city was eventually abandoned by Europeans and its ruins left to bake in the sun. The city had all the features of a Roman metropolis, including luxurious underground baths, but the Berbers only used the ruins for shade and they were never settled again.

Only recently there has been talk of "Hydra", strangers from the wasteland asking after it. Unknown to anyone, Hydra has been occupied by military arm of the alien invaders, the Setites, using the power to charge the Tiberium batteries on which their technology is based. The valley around Hydra is guarded by giant man-eating worms that prowl beneath the soft earth, a Soviet bioweapon now in the hands of the Setites.


Setites combine elements from many sources, Serpent Men from the Kull stories, Snake Men from Masters of the Universe, Cobra from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, the Visitors from V, and reptilian humanoids found in myth, folklore and other works of fiction (like some of the conspiracy theories out there). "Setites" are one of the clans in Vampire: The Masquerade.


A loose collection of troglodytic cave-dwellings, often connected by trench-like passageways, Matmâta was dug out of the barren plains of Tataouine over two thousand years ago during the Punic Wars, with the express purpose of hiding its people. The 20th Century AD brought World War 3 and nuclear winter, and with that came rain. During a deluge lasting 22 days, the cave-dwellings of Matmâta were mostly collapsed and flooded. They are now choked with dust and debris, abandoned, and Matmâta's wells are a secret known only to the Berber tribes wandering the south.


One of the troglodytic cave-dwellings in Matmâta was used as a location in the original Star Wars, and the area is now synonymous with the farm where Luke Skywalker lived with his uncle and aunt.


Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 20:02
by nemarsde

The old town of Ghadames looks from a distance like a walled cemetery, with Arabesque sepulchres of sandstone and white-washed adobe. Cloistered amidst steep hills, the town has stayed remarkably well preserved over the centuries, and there is shade aplenty from the oasis' verdure.

The sepulchres are actually the roofs of the towns buildings, its street level being covered and entrenched, meaning the town is subterranean, any occupants sheltered from the scorching sun.

An open, tranquil oasis, intact and hospitable dwellings with cool, gently lit streets; what could be more inviting? Why then is the town deserted? Travellers tell tales of a ghost town, haunted by restless spirits and/or genies. Only a brave and well-equipped band of adventurers would dare spend the night.


Before the war, the Fortress of Ghāt was a well-known landmark, built by the Italians in the 1920s and overlooking the nearby town. Prior to that the town was a centre of the Saharan slave trade. Fortress and town were already abandoned by the time of the holocaust, but rumour in the wasteland is that the Jun Horde have established a base here, decorating their fastness with burning torches, heads on stakes, flying banners of human scalps, and other demonic motifs, revelling in their vision of Hell.

With their horses and armoured cars, the Jun might be able to cross the sand seas and raid more westerly, but who would undertake such a journey from the opposite direction? The Jun are untouchable where they are, yet their red hand of terror extends across the Fezzan.

To the south are the inhospitable Ahaggar Mountains and legends of the Cult of the Hyena People. The treacherous mountain passes are no place for armoured cars, and if the legends are true and shape-shifters stalk the mountains, even a column of Jun horsemen with automatic weapons might not be safe. Whatever the reason, the mountains have proved an effective barrier against the Jun Horde so far.