Shadow Nations: Gangs of New London
Refers to March 22nd 2262 AD when the demonic infestation of 2257 was officially deemed over, heralding a major victory in mankind’s struggle against Daemonkind. Often seen written on the armour of Romans.
Rumoured monstrosities formed by a corrupted Mystic making a pact with an unknown entity from beyond the Dark Curtain. They are supposedly infused with great power at the expense of their humanity.
The great immigration of undead corpses into Paris in 2027 AD which heralded the arrival of the Circle of Requiem. It was orchestrated by Narcisse Amarante, the unchallenged master of Paris.
This project based on Gävle in Scandinavia is intended to recreate the animal life prior to the invasion of Hell on Earth. Its many success stories include enhanced species such as fattened cattle.
An item of great power which may not be replicated using current technology and mastery of the occult. They are regardless categorized as minor or major artifacts according to their power. A minor artefact only affects a limited area of the user’s surroundings and is often but a rare tool. Major artifacts are able to affect the structure of the world itself, making each unique and highly sought after.
A hive mind of powerful Hellspring of Torment capable of tapping each others’ knowledge at a moment’s notice. They are the current rulers of most of Germany and form a council of 29 senators representing sectors of Germany. The Legion resides in Berlin, and its current head is Instrument691, a symbol of hope against the Roman occupation for the citizens of Berlin.
An Oldblood woman of great power, belonging to the rulers of the majority of Ukrainia. These so-called mothers’ mothers wield mysterious powers granting them equal standing when negotiating with Kults.
Bank of Berlin
The largest bank in Europe, stationed in Berlin but having branches in the rest of Germany as well as England, France, and Ukrainia.
The rogue police force of London which protects and reinforces the boundaries of other gangs in return for partial control of the area. They are corrupt and prefer fighting petty criminals over bigger fish. The Billy Clubs were formed when the Roughnecks absorbed the Firemen, and they have the support of the Borough Lords. Their motto is ‘to serve and profit.’
The newest major borough gang of London, the Blue Bloods are backed by the Church of England and act as its unofficial military force. They have been spreading their influence outwards from Canterbury steadily, sometimes violently and other times through negotiations and commerce.
The de facto rulers of London, a gang based on the ruins of the old parliament in Westminster. They require a share of all the profits received on the surface and control almost all harbour gangs and shipping companies. Led by Reese the Bloodtower who is rumoured to desire the position of King of England.
Box of Under
A decentralized Kult dedicated to the Circle of Sacrifice. Its members are enigmatic prophets able to foresee both tragedy and triumph. While their ultimate purpose remains unknown, each Kultist seems absolutely dedicated to this mysterious cause.
A particularly aggressive and violent gang specializing in the use of weaponized bricks and concrete bludgeoning devices. They are identifiable by their guttural French accent and shirts with red and black stripes. They also tend to wear excessive amounts of red blush on their cheeks. The Brick Boys’ rule most of the docks of London.
The act in which a Kultist transforms the soul of a recently deceased person into a spirit coin used to power their foul convokations.
Church of England
Founded by exiled Inquisitors in 2293 AD, the Church of England is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and has swiftly increased its following. Their take on the Christian faith is much more pragmatic than of other alternatives: flee from the evils you cannot face and vanquish those you can. Instead of Good Work, the Church encourages everyday charity.
The Circles of Hell are layers of existence connected with the other world from whence Daemons originate. Each is connected with the corruption of a specific type which twisted its inhabitants to their current daemonic forms, with the exception of the Azure Hyaline which remains uncorrupted.
Circle of Avarice
The Circle of Avarice is connected with gaining power and prestige. Its Daemons resemble the classic figure of Satan with crimson skin, horns, and similar features. This Circle has always been the most powerful among the Circles, and it holds sway over Ukrainia and Rome in particular.
Circle of Azure Hyaline
The Azure Hyaline remains the only uncorrupted Circle but its inhabitants, the angels, are unable to regain their corporeal form due to the ritual sacrifice of the Christ Daemon by followers of Avarice. Instead, they remain in the spirit dimension as its undisputed masters.
Circle of Carnivoria
The Circle of Carnivoria is home to fierce predators and dangerous vegetation. Each and every member of the Circle exists to devour and to conquer those weaker than themselves. Most Daemons of Carnivoria are mindless savages existing only to kill and to feast. Their presence is particularly strong in Scandinavia and Greece.
Circle of Pestilence
Once known as the Circle of Stagnation, this Circle was broken and almost destroyed. It was revived as the Circle of Pestilence which governs over disease, stagnation, and lethargy. Among its primary goals is to integrate mankind into its daemonic embrace using the Virus to mutate people into fanatics in service of Pestilence. Close to none accepts this gift voluntarily. Spain is heavily under this Circle’s rotting influence.
Circle of Requiem
The Circle of Requiem wills the death of all living beings. Murder and death are among its domains, and the distinctive trait of this Circle is the use of the undead. Its Daemons come in the form of incorporeal wraiths encountered in the spirit dimension and the zombies formed when such a Daemon fuses with a physical corpse. The Circle’s base of operations on Earth is located in France.
Circle of Sacrifice
Instead of death, the Circle of Sacrifice embodies the obliteration and oblivion of all things, living and non-living alike. Even the Circle itself is but a barren space. The Daemons connected with this Circle are not actually entities originating from the Circle. Rather, they consist of the faint remnants of those who came in contact with the Circle’s destructive influence.
Circle of Stimulus
The Circle of Stimulus is ruled by multiple Lords, each presiding over a specific form of indulgence. These include gluttony, sloth, lust, drug abuse, and overt violence. The Circle also controls the domain of radiation. All these vices are connected with the desire to what remains of life to the absolute fullest, regardless of the consequences. England is where the Circle’s influence is at its strongest.
Circle of Torment
Under the absolute rule of Silesia, the Circle of Torment manifests the search for knowledge heedless of the consequences. Its machine Daemons represent this cold, ruthless mentality, and the Kultists of Torment seek to emulate it. However, Silesia’s primary goal is to understand mankind, both physically and mentally, and it requires test subjects to analyse. Those tempted by the advanced technology this Circle has to offer have conquered both Scotland and Germany.
The effects of a Kultist offering an appropriate amount of spirit coins as a tribute to their patron Daemons. These spells wary greatly according to the granting Circle and amount of spirit coins required to evoke them.
A hallucinogenic drug distilled from the blood of Daemons. It is injected directly into the bloodstream and causes the whole body to writhe in sexual pleasure. Highly addictive, particularly because the pleasure it provides overshadows all other forms of satisfaction.
The corrupted inhabitant of the other world known as Hell. Divided into eight distinct Circles which determine their mindset as well as powers and appearance. Only members of the Azure Hyaline remain uncorrupted but they can no longer manifest on Earth.
The sinister haze lingering on lands beyond Europe, which may not be traversed by people but at times seems to spew forth unnamed monstrosities, particularly from the Dark Continent once known as Africa.
By ‘the Disappearance’ people refer to the overnight vanishing of the whole of Spain’s population in 2283 AD. Some speculate the reason having been the awakening of a great Daemon of Pestilence in the depths of the swampland Spain had already become by then.
A particularly powerful Daemon presiding over a Circle of Hell or a domain connected with a specific Circle. They are the rulers of their respective Circles and the masterminds behind the invasion of Earth. They grant the powers Kultists invoke when utilizing their convokations.
The personal seal of a member of the Box of Under. This symbol acts as the focus of many of their convokations and empowers the Kultist when they are in its vicinity.
Dominion of Silesia
The areas in the Northern parts of Britain once known as Scotland but now transformed into a reflection of the Circle of Torment by Silesia and its servants.
A mindless or nearly mindless daemonic machine created by members of the Circle of Torment or their Kultist followers. Has a limited capacity to function each day.
The semitransparent memories of lost objects, lingering in the spirit realm for as long as even one person an remember the original object. Powerful spirits may utilize them to recreate the lost objects they represent.
The rulers of the Newbloods in Ukrainia, the Eighteen Families are each led by a Baba of great power. They wield powerful curses unleashed on their enemies. According to a popular rumour, one of the families has been permanently banished from the lands of men by the rest for unlocking a terrible, corrupt power.
Federation for Scientific Advancement
A multicultural company tasked with studying and acquiring the resources of Russia. Their primary object of research is the improvement of the human condition. The FSA is also responsible for providing the rest of Europe with precious and uncommon metals. They own the only currently functional hydroelectric facility in Europe, although the technology remains to be spread. Other projects include the mapping of the Daemonic genetic code, and in 2266 AD the FSA was responsible for creating the first human-made Hellsprings. The FSA harbours a long-standing rivalry with the USS.
Chemically treated bark harvested from trees affected by daemonic influences in the deepest forests of Greece. May be used for pieces of armour but must be fitted personally for the user with the help of a specialized Mystic.
A drug harvested from destroyed Daemons of Torment which causes the user to have mild hallucinations and to see the auras connected with creatures and followers of Torment. It also provides some insight into the spirit dimension. Fracture has multiple street names but this sticky substance is often administered using irritating plasters.
A rune of power engraved on an otherwise mundane object to grant it significance. A skilled artificer may imbue such an item with a minor occult effect.
A form of indulgence allowed by the Roman Church. People who have sinned by breaking the tenets of the New Bible must pay a suitable amount and spend a number of months in service, the safety of which depends on their initial payment. Most are deemed to service the military but others help in orphanages and hospitals.
A number of portals to the Circle of Avarice near Chisinau. They were originally established by Kultists exiled from Rome with the help of the local authorities. The Babas view these portals as an abomination on their land, and all but one were closed after negotiations between them and the Kultists.
Alternative moniker for the Mystics of the First Order. Also denotes a group of Mystics who arrived in Greece 2200 AD and destroyed many of the powerful Daemons residing there, because these Mystics claimed to be members of the First Order.
Originally a product of the Circle of Torment, this combat drug produces a rush of adrenaline and testosterone which inhibits restraints and causes uncontrollable aggression.
People afflicted with the taint of Hell. Parts of their genome have been corrupted by daemonic influences, granting them superhuman powers and a daemonic appearance in exchange for their humanity and parts of their souls.
The holy book of the Church of England, published in 2297 AD as the Church announced its official existence. It mostly abandons the New Testament, instead focusing on the Old Testament and particularly its tales and fables.
A religious body dedicated to one of the Circles of Hell. It consists of Kultists willing to offer their patron Daemons human souls in exchange for occult power.
A sacred weapon affiliated with a particular Kult. Each Kult has a specific type of blade which enhances the power of the member wielding it. In addition to increasing a Kultist’s capacity, these blades are used to ritually murder a person during their initiation.
Kult of Avarice
The worshippers of Avarice form highly hierarchical sects which compete against one another. They are characterized by an aggressive vie for power, a preference for overt luxury, and a vested interested in artefacts of the old world. The Kult is particularly strong in Rome and Ukrainia.
Kult of Carnivoria
Consisting of a motley of depraved killers, the Kult of Carnivoria places no respect on any other merit than brutality and the physical strength to enact it. They openly terrorize the people living on their territory and constantly seek ever greater foes to conquer. Even the more civilized and intelligent members are killers at heart, although they might not have yet manifested the Daemonic mutations embodying this mentality. The Kult rules over much of Scandinavia and Greece.
Kult of Pestilence
All members of the Kult of Pestilence are hapless victims of the Virus, mutated by the daemonic microbe into a hybrid life form consisting of a human slave and a symbiotic Daemon residing within them. They seek to infect the rest of mankind with the Virus, bringing everyone to the clutches of their Circle. Each and every Kultist of Pestilence appears to be infected with a horrific plague, and they have been gathering in Spain.
Kult of Requiem
The necromancers of the Kult of Pestilence are endlessly fascinated with the ending of life and returning its semblance in the form of undeath. Their allegiance with the Circle of Requiem even turns their own features to those of a walking corpse by preventing all natural healing. A Kultist of Requiem is never encountered without a retinue of zombies and a swarm of spiritual Daemons of Requiem surrounding them. Their base of power lies in France, where the zombies are used as slave labour on the fields.
Kult of Stimulus
Divided into a number of broods, the Kult of Stimulus works in cells dedicated to the different pleasures of life. Their primary motivation seems to be seeking pleasure in all its forms, but the Kultists are also avid collectors of esoteric lore and many are known to prophesy during their drug-induced stupors. Most of the Kult dwells in England but they can also be found on the forbidden island of Crete and in the Far East.
Kult of the Azure Hyaline
A minor and obscure Kult dedicated to the peaceful mission of the Circle of Azure Hyaline. They are tasked with removing the taint of Hell from Earth but prefer means of healing and compassion to violent purging. They are rumoured to be able to negate the effects of other Kultists’ convokations.
Kult of the Spiritual Essence
Another Kult in the service of the Azure Hyaline, the Kult of the Spiritual Essence prefers to destroy those carrying daemonic corruption. Serving the Roman Empire, many of the Kultists are members of the Inquisition. They are willing to even sacrifice their own salvation in order to better purge the world of daemonic taint with the burning flames of their righteous wrath. A member is easily identified by the orange flames flickering in their eyes. Similarly to Kultists of the Azure Hyaline, they are able to negate the effects of other Kultists’ convokations.
Kult of Torment
Highly influential due to the promise of advanced technology Silesia offers, the Kult of Torment is entrenched in German society and dedicates much of its resources to the war against Rome. Its members are heartless, only dedicated to the increase of knowledge and physical perfection embodied by the idea of a machine. Their alliance with the machine Daemons of Torment is relatively loose, although Silesia often provides followers with mindless drones. Besides Germany, the Kult is active in Scotland.
A person dedicated to a specific Circle of Hell. They are capable of forging the souls of the recently deceased into so-called spirit coins which they use to fuel their convokations by offering the souls to their Daemon patrons.
A gang responsible for running the network of brothels in the upper city boroughs of London. They are distinguished by the use of lipstick and eyeliner despite all members being male. However, the members are very business-minded despite their trade and eccentricities. If forced to resort to violence, they prefer using chains as weapons.
An ingested or injected drug which strains the body by causing the painful feeling of burning on the inside. However, after this initial effect, it provides feelings of superiority and allows even non-Kultists to call souls. The latter act is highly pleasurable and addicting to those not used to it.
A strong-willed individual allegedly capable of channeling the power of the Great Divinity through a number of rituals. Despite being hailed as heroes in the past, they were culled by the Rancor Disease and have not regained their former glory and popularity ever since.
Schools for training prospective Mystics in their art. Major colleges include the College of Battle, the College of Elements, the College of Nature, the College of the Night, and the College of Science. Most are led by original survivors of the Rancor Disease and each has a specialized curriculum focusing on a number of rituals. Recently, the modern Halion Argonauts have opened a new college, the Halion Academy, with branches across Russia.
The fog covering the spirit realm. Newcomers not native to the realm suffer from its obscuring effect which causes their surroundings to lose boundaries. It also causes pulsing nausea on these souls. The effects of the Nebulus Obscurus only last for the first hour of each visit.
Dictated in 2204 AD by Pope Levicitus who had survived from 2092 AD to 2191 AD under the ruins of the Vatican and returned to reinstate the Holy Roman Empire, it contains all the laws governing the Empire, including the duty of reclaiming of the world at any cost. Each citizen of the Empire is expected to memorize the New Bible.
A specialized sect of religious Roman fanatics responsible for ‘purifying’ the unclean and showing them the correct path. These masterful infiltrators and torturers hunt down all those affiliated with Hell or the Empire’s enemies with zeal.
Practitioners of a form of hedge magic based around traditions of old, these gypsies claim their power stems from the blood of the Christ Daemon itself. Highly seclusive, they are divided into practitioners preferring either dark or light traditions, providing curses and wards respectively.
An ancient Newblood whose claim to power is enhanced by a closer connection with their originator. The most prominent examples are the Babas of Ukrainia, but others exist and they are able to tap powers much beyond the capacity of the average Newblood.
Dried and sugared roots of the dreamflower plant growing in the darkest depths of Grecian forests. It causes a dreamlike lucidity which temporarily distances the person from reality by shifting their perspective. This also reduces their feelings of fear.
Detested by all other gangs of London, the Pilfers are thieves and beggars at the bottom of the local economy. These delinquents work in large numbers and their organization resembles a guild. Their central office where training takes place is located in Greenwich but they operate throughout London, only leaving the Borough Lords untouched.
The hellish energy source empowering Daemonkind. It infuses the flesh and soul of Daemons and is used as a currency of sorts when dealing with them. Pneuma is the antithesis of a human soul but the latter may be moulded into a rich source of Pneuma.
These direct pathways to Hell allow Daemons to invade Earth much more efficiently than any other means and are thus valued very highly by the Divinities in charge of their Circles. Each portal is linked to a specific Circle and requires a daily stream of human sacrifices to be maintained.
An airborne disease responsible for culling the Mystics of the First Order and forcing the rest to regulate their numbers. The more powerful a Mystic is, the more likely they are to instantaneously suffocate on their own blood upon contracting the disease which only affects those capable of using rituals.
A mysterious body of water capable of removing all traces of daemonic taint. It cleanses even the Daemons themselves, reverting them to their natural form from before the corruption of their world. Similarly, Hellspring, Kultists, and Mystics are stripped of their powers upon being baptised in these waters.
The three parties responsible for legal trade in zombies within France. Their wares are branded with their respective logos which are replaced once they have been sold. The Eternal Harvest specializes in everyday agricultural workers, the Infinite Arms trades in zombies able to fight, and the Wayfarers sell zombies fit for transportation.
Powers granted to Mystics by what they claim is the Great Divinity. Each consists of a number of facets, determining the nature and power of the accessible effects. They are characterized by a recharge period based on the user’s mental prowess.
The Roman Empire was re-established in 2193 AD by Pope Leviticus after his return. Under his authoritarian rule, the lands of what was once known as Italy were retaken from the Daemons. However, the puritan outlook of the Pope also forced many to emigrate or lose their life to the hunts searching to destroy any and all traces of daemonic influence. For similar reasons, modern technology is banned by the state. Instead, they utilize enhanced versions of ancient weapons as well as enslaved Mystics in their constant war against the rest of Europe and Germany in particular.
A variation of the hate pill, this brand new combat drug allows a person to act unnaturally fast by increasing their reaction time but instead of causing uncontrollable aggression, it temporary reduces dexterity and the capacity to focus.
After the fall, the people of Norway, Sweden, and Finland slowly congregated to form a new nation called Scandinavia. It was among the first states established after the fall and was based on Stockholm. Scandinavia is best known for the use of biotechnology based on the selective breeding of stock affected by daemonic taint, and the conditions North remain harsh for the majority due to the change in climate and the established position of the Kult of Carnivoria.
The Divinity of Torment, Silesia is an inhuman mastermind tapped into both Germany’s powergrid and the remaining satellites surrounding Earth. Its ego is also responsible for ruling the stronghold of Omniplex in the mountains near Stuttgart. Silesia is endlessly interested in analysing the human condition and thus demands a constant stream of new research subjects, both living and dead.
An aerosol alternative to smelling salts created by the military in Scandinavia. It awakens unconscious people and increases stamina but at the price of light-headedness and neural damage. Regular users suffer from tremors.
A land once part of what was known as Wales, residing by the Irish Sea. Notably contains Conway Castle which houses Grimangel, a reclusive Avarician Daemon with knowledge of the future received from the Box of Under centuries ago.
A liquid drug distilled from the venom of the madness spider. When spider kiss is drank or injected, it greatly increases the user’s sensitivity to visual cues by causing their vision to jerk between still frames. As a side effect, it also causes severe shortness of breath.
A human soul forged into a tangible form in order to power a Kultist’s convokations. The stronger the soul used to create the coin, the more valuable it becomes. However, each coin unattended by a sufficiently powerful Kultist evaporates at dawn. Even Kultists themselves may only ever retain a limited amount of these coins in their possession.
A material forged from Echoes and given physical existence in the form of a durable but flexible white metal. It is used for the most prized pieces of chain mail in the world but can only be created and manipulated by Mystics of the College of Science.
A voluntary period during which a German youth deemed suitable for such pursuits is assigned to military service as a police or soldier.
A daily requirement a Daemon must fulfil in order to retain its physical form. Most are vile actions determined by the exact type of Daemon and connected to their Circle. Hellspring also have sustenance pleasures but theirs only negatively affect the Hellsprings’ spiritual growth if left unfulfilled.
The daemonic corruption of an organism’s genome. The greater the quantifiable proportion of the genome is affected, the more daemonic features the organism acquires at the price of its former form and nature.
The spirit dimension inhabited only by spectral Daemons and the wandering spirits of the recently deceased. However, most wandering spirits are swiftly beckoned by the bright light granting them transcendence. The rest, as well as careless visitors, are slowly corroded by the realm until they become obliterated. The spirit realm is a black and white reflection of the physical world, obscured by the fog of Nebulus Obscurus and dotted with the echoes of lost objects.
The physical manifestations of Hell on Earth. Each of these areas is linked with a specific Circle of Hell which determines its specific features. The Earth itself, in its normal state, may be considered a form of Terraformation native to this world but seven alternatives exist for the Azure Hyaline does not have such a manifestation.
Tomes of Praenomen
A series of books created by the respective Divinities of each Circle. They each contain instructions to summon a particular individual Daemon but only detail the requirements and the Daemon’s personal achievements instead of listing their qualities such as appearance or powers. Different books linked to different Circles have specific appearances befitting those Circles.
A multinational trading company controlling many of Europe’s more important trade cities. Their base of operations is in Düsseldorf, Germany. Other important cities at least partially under their rule include Minsk, Moscow, and Tallinn in Russia, Bergen in Scandinavia, and Krakow and Warsaw in Ukrainia. The Trade Federation also offers parcel delivery as a service, between Germany, Russia, Scandinavia, England, and Northern Ukrainia.
A form of ancient magic wielded by the Newbloods. Traditions are divided into Light and Dark traditions and require the use of a focus item and some special ingredients. Further details are obscured by superstition and only those initiated in the occult tend to know more.
An old agreement between the citizens of Scandinavia and local Kultists of Carnivoria. It grants the Kultists the right to raid towns consisting of fewer than a thousand people or otherwise deemed ‘weak’ according to the technical definition the document provides.
Treaty of Bourdeaux
Signed in 2290 AD, this treaty states that England, France, and Germany will not claim ownership of any part of Spain and that all recovered goods will be shared equally between the three nations.
Treaty of Leeds
Signed as a promise of mutual assistance in the fight against Torment in 2080 between the Kult of Stimulus and the Mystics of England, this treaty allowed for the first form of centralized government in England after the fall. It was effectively nullified when the Rancor Disease culled the Mystics and forced their allies, the Kult of Stimulus, underground due to the resulting uprising of the common people.
The corpses of once living mundane creatures empowered by a spiritual Daemon of Requiem. The undead is the collective name for these zombies. Even when the corpse is destroyed, no harm is done to the spirit animating it other than expulsion to the Terradaenime.
An unpopular, highly addictive injected drug which tends to knock the user unconscious when injected. However, it also causes accelerated healing and a high similar to crystalfix upon awakening.
Union of Scientific Superiority
The USS is another science conglomerate responsible for tapping the resources of Russia. It consists of twenty consortiums lead by the six chairmen responsible for the biggest consortiums in terms of capital investment. The USS specializes in the development of new weapons and tools and have managed to produce an artificial intelligence capable of controlling weapons in the USS Hope Installation in Russia. Their representatives are known to have targeted disgruntled locals with energy weapons. There exists research in climatology as well, with the intention of being able to control the weather. The USS is a rival of the FSA.
A form of daemonic microbe which has infected almost every single person in Europe. Once the presence of the Virus becomes overpowering, a person is turned into a Kultist of Pestilence and infused with a Daemon symbiont. Few ways exist to reduce the influence of the Virus and there is no known cure for those it has turned to Kultists.
A huge chasm reaching from the Adriatic Sea. It opened in 2091 AD and reaches for easily over a hundred mails into the mainland, requiring almost two hundred to be traversed in order to avoid it. This canyon has tended to halt any Roman incursions to Greece.