The Age of Nations is Over.

The complete collapse of the Stock Market, the cornerstone of the global economy, decimated the national currencies and governments have all but evaporated in it's wake. The world was pushed to the brink and In the years of panic and desperation that followed many believed that it was the end of all things.

They were wrong.

Society as we knew it had vanished, but the foundations of our civilization: its resources, Infrastructure, and technology, remained intact. Before long new unlikely heroes of different backgrounds and philosophies emerged to take control of those foundations. Communities, corporations and subcultures of every variety joined the fray with just one thing in common: a vision of a new world; one to right the wrongs of the old. Through economics, politics and violence they fight see their diverse ideas made a reality.

But as the countless factions struggled over the remnants of the United States, none could have predicted what was awakening in a small, forgettable tourist county in Southern California where 5 factions were just taking their first steps. 5 Factions who, for now, want nothing more than to crush one another. Sure, they are little more than a mess of angst and half baked philosophies now, but one day these unsuspecting individuals will learn to set their sights beyond their differences. One day they will unite to change the course of our history and become the Legends of South County. 

But that day is not today.

Today it's a free for all.

Choose Your Faction

Even before the collapse, Santa Bella was not an easy place to live. Poverty, crime and a widely ignored drug epidemic held a constant grip on its residents and crushed the spirits of most who grew up there. Opportunity was limited and much of the population made a living working at or in connection to Angel Gate Harbor, the primary hub for international trade on the West Coast. For some this was enough, for many it was the only option, but the real hardship was yet to come.

When currency failed and desperation gripped its people, anarchy of the worst variety overtook Santa Bella. Angel Gate Harbor, the foundation of Santa Bella's economy, was abandoned and with scarce resources of their own the community fractured. Dozens of factions already well versed in violence rose to power and turned the streets into a battlefield and as the chaos grew it became near impossible for any family to remain untouched by violence. Starvation and collateral damage claimed entire neighborhoods and the surrounding cities closed their borders to Santa Bella to contain its violence. This was a death sentence for many in Santa Bella; effectively locking them inside.

It was at this lowest point that a young girl turned the tide. The daughter of a Union Organizer, she had inherited her late father's powerful charisma and her rousing speeches earned her the name 'La Voz', or 'The Voice'. One by one she brought the factions under her vision of unity. Those who resisted were eventually crushed under her new alliance. With all of Santa Bella now following her word, La Voz sets their sights on the rest of South County. She knows that the real test is ahead,. If she cannot deliver on her promise of prosperity her people may fall back into the violence they struggled so hard to overcome.

For as long as any can remember Old Town has been the domain of edgier cultures. Through the night, every night, musicians play in back-alley bars, poets whisper truths to any willing to receive them and writers look on from their page, awaiting their next muse.

After the collapse little changed in Old Town. A handful of the local elite gathered to form an economic bubble around their districts, cut ethically questionable deals, and implemented a precious metal currency from their sizable personal reserves. It was a success and they watched as their enterprises prosper while the county around them crumbled. The local elite re-branded themselves as the Old Town Business Council and, for a time, things were stable. But in a land ruled by anarchy that kind of stability soon draws attention. A dramatic turn of events began to unfold when two sharply  dressed men arrived from out of town. They walked with unparalleled confidence and politely took a seat at The Black Rabbit; soon to be their new favorite bar.

Nicknamed by other patrons the ‘Stogies’ after their signature cigar habit, the brothers garnered a polarized reputation around town. Everything they did, from the way they spoke to the way they walked was unapologetically refined and calculated. Many found them disingenuous, a front of opulence to hide a lack of substance. To others it was intriguing, a cordial professionalism tapping into a culture rooted in chivalry lost to the modern world, even before the collapse. What none saw was their ruthless and insatiable ambition. Even when the owner of the Black Rabbit went missing and the brothers ‘inherited’ its management, few really paid attention.

Together the brothers refashioned the Black Rabbit into an icon of Old Town. It became a true speakeasy complete with antique paintings, live music and, most infamously, a strict code of personal conduct dubbed the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’. As their popularity grew, the eyes of the Old Town elite turned to them.

There was a way of doing things when you opened a business in Old Town. To stay in business you must join the council, and to join the council you must pay your way with steep dues. Fail to follow the rules and the consequences were notoriously unpleasant. To the council’s surprise and without needing to issue a single threat the Stogies agreed to their terms. Not only would they pay the dues, but up front and in full with a single stipulation: to meet with the other esteemed members whom they would be joining. It was agreed upon and the Stogies were invited to the next meeting on a day that would become known as the Payday Massacre.

As the only remaining member of the aforementioned council, the Stogies once again ‘inherited’ the properties of their former business partners, but this was only the beginning. With newfound power  the brothers now set their sights on the rest of South County and its incredible untapped potential.

There are no words that adequately describe the human connection to the sea. Something in the soft crash of waves and the warmth of a golden sunset can inspire even the most hard-hearted of people. For some, like those living in the beach cities of South County, the call of the ocean is just too powerful to ignore.

Over decades the residents of Palmera Beach have worked endlessly to build and maintain their seaside Eden. Year after year, in the face of summer tourism and large commercial interests, they fought to keep their communal integrity and year after year they succeeded in keeping Palmera as the seaside village it had always been. For much of the year it's residents enjoyed what they wanted most of all: to be left alone.

The collapse would change everything.

In the weeks after government vanished, for the first time ever, violence came to the beaches of Palmera. Outsider factions looking to acquire valuable territory quickly laid claim to its unarmed neighborhoods and soon their turf wars with other factions claimed numerous locals caught in the crossfire. Each death left a scar on the community and local leaders knew that their way of life was on the verge of perishing, but none knew what to do. It was on this precipice that the vengeful fire of the Dawn Patrol was born.

A change was in the wind and a once passive people embarked on a campaign to make the outsiders suffer for their intrusion. New community leaders emerged, some calling on dark pasts they had come to the sea to forget. Most mysterious of all was Noah, the Silent Surfer, who would lead the newly formed Dawn Patrol on a terrifyingly effective campaign of guerrilla tactics and psychological warfare until the last of the outsiders were driven from the beaches.

This victory came at a cost, however. Tainted from violence, Noah saw that this community remained on the edge. They could no longer afford to ignore the outside world as they had in the times before. If their way of life was to survive, they would have to become what they had spent their entire history fighting against. They would have to become a people of power.

Few are as familiar with the shortcomings of the government bureaucracy than those trained to navigate its bloated legal system. At the North-East corner of South County lies the esteemed Empire University which hosted one of the nation’s most prestigious Law Schools: Empire Law. Within it’s geometric, modern exterior it housed some of the most promising and progressive minds in the country. They attended not only its Law School but also it’s commemorated Engineering, Medical and Political Science schools respectively. It was infamous across the county as a hotbed of radical ideas.

Even among the university's accomplished student body there was one group that stood above the rest. Admired and resented in equal measure, the house known as the Sigma Society was well known as the over-achiever's fever dream. Top students would compete and accelerate their rivalries to incredible heights, not only in academics but also as leaders in the East Empire community. Their focus on personal achievement, adherence to a strict code of ethics and dedication to their house are all credited as reasons no member of the Sigma Society has ever graduated without becoming a success story. But just as a new generation of society members prepared to take the world by storm, the world came to an end.

Almost overnight the campus grew quiet as students abandoned the school in attempts to return home or find new lives amidst the anarchy. They left until only a handful of the Tri-Sigma society remained, including their leader Nian Zhen Huang. They remained because she saw beyond the anarchy surrounding them. This was a world being reborn. One that would need capable leadership to pave the way forward and create a world founded on the proven ideals of the Sigma Society. 

And so they waited.

As the dust finally settled and a relative calm reclaimed the county they emerged from the halls of the forgotten university. They were no longer the Sigma Society of the past. They were the Knights of Sigma, and through honor, order and fire they would bring an unprecedented era of progress to the people South County. Together they would remake the world.

While much of South County's infrastructure remained intact after the collapse, to the despair of many the internet was not one of them. Some who had pointedly avoided the outside world were suddenly thrust into the brightness of the daytime sun and forced to adapt to this new normal. But some resisted this inevitability. 

Dragging hundreds of pounds of parts and cabling up Signal Crest, South County’s highest hill, a group of technogeeks dedicated themselves to reviving, and even improving upon mankind's greatest communication technology. Dubbed Project LINK, it soon spread across the South end of the county like wildfire. But the capability of this project soon drew the attention of others interested in controlling such a powerful asset.

As Signal Crest was besieged by another well armed faction, Mod, the founder of the project transmitted an S.O.S. to all users on the LINK. Within minutes well-armed eccentrics of every facet stormed signal hill and liberated the facility. But even after the invaders were driven off, people just kept showing up. They were individuals of diverse and sometimes questionable tastes, motivations and skill sets but ultimately united by one desire: to sit in a chair and stare at a screen. Thus the faction known as the LAN was born.

One would think that with their great numbers (second only to the Sindicato) and integration of  technology that the LAN would easily be the most powerful force in the County, and they would be, if they could ever agree on anything at all. The LAN’s staggering diversity lead to a cult-like culture of extreme individuality where only the loudest and most expressive are heard above the noise. The LAN is not so much a single faction as it is a loosely united amalgamation of diverse cliques. All in all rather reminiscent of the internet they all adore.

But make no mistake. On the rare occasion that something can draw their attention away from their own in-fighting, they are a force unlike anything in South County. Leaving them alone has become the widely adopted policy by other factions, less you draw the wrath of countless disenfranchised nerds.

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