It was early in the 1980s, the Cold War simmering in the background of everyone’s lives. Nuclear war loomed as the US and Soviets postured. In America, life continues as normal as possible. Then, one day, everything changed. Nearly half of the earth’s human population just… stopped living. They didn’t disappear, or fall ill to some terrible disease that turns them into zombies. Their lives just… stopped. Had anyone managed to perform any real research into the deceased, they’d find that there was no reason for it. There was too much chaos however. Pilots, flying planes full of passengers, passed on crashing the planes they were flying, cars careened aimlessly on highways and city streets, claiming many further lives in the carnage. Mutually assured destruction protocols kicked in, and both the US and Soviets launched nuclear warheads. Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, London, Krakow, Moscow, Kiev, and several other major cities were destroyed. The dead ceased living at approximately 15:17 GMT on a warm June day in 1983, by 23:59, ⅔ of the human population was dead. In the coming months, the death toll from The End, as it would become known, totaled over 3.5 billion human lives, though the true death toll is unknown.
Many wished they hadn’t survived that day in the weeks that followed, picking up the pieces of a fully collapsed civilization is not an easy prospect. Many comforts they’d known before The End were gone. Electricity went out, with no one to fully maintain the power plants, with the loss of power came the loss of running water, industrial farming, long term food storage. Slowly, communities formed among the remnants of the World That Was. A few formed around natural resources, trading with nearby settlements. All the world’s satellites disappeared from orbit, whether it was just due to lack of tending, or something else, no one knows. Long distance communication has become much more difficult, HAM radio operators coordinated after a few weeks, but the world beyond was bleaker than everyone had hoped. The world grew larger, no GPS navigation has made trans-oceanic trips much more difficult.
Raiders plague farms and towns, few live on their own now, for fear of a band of opportunistic raiders is quite real. Animals have grown larger, no longer below humans on the food chain. Few alive today know the true extent of the horrors of that day, June 12, 1983. In remote areas, the borders between worlds frayed, became thinner. Alternate realities started bleeding into our own. It has taken some time, but those frayed borders have begun to rip now, creating even more threats in an unforgiving world.
After a time, survivors started discovering connections to magic. First it was nature based magic, but soon after more arcane magic developed. No strong practitioners are known to exist yet, however each year, connections to primal and arcane energies grow. With this magical energy however, came monsters, as if raiders and bandits weren’t enough. Mutated beasts roam the wilds, and more than one person has heard the rumor of dragons prowling the abandoned cities. Surprisingly, thus far, no higher power has made contact, at least openly, with mortals of the world. Divine magic may exist, but no one has seen it, and faith in the Christian and Islamic god has waned over the last 5 years.
Welcome to the website/blog for the What Comes After Podcast! I plan to post various articles about the podcast including some of the various alternate rules we use and background information of the universe itself. I will also share news about the podcast and the cast here as well.
If you've got a question, leave a comment here and we'll try to answer it, possibly in a recap episode!