The Age of Nations is Over.

The collapse of the international stock market decimated the currencies of the world and many governments, including the once great United States, have all but evaporated. In the years of panic and desperation that followed many believed that it was the end of all things.
They were wrong.
Though government law and order have vanished the foundations of civilization remain. Infrastructure, population centers and even mass transit remain intact and it didn’t take long before new societies began to emerge from these foundations; offering shelter from the chaos that had consumed the nation. Those with the strength and vision set their sights on an even greater objective: the creation of a new world, one to right the wrongs of the old. Neighborhoods, corporations and subcultures of every background and philosophy have adhered the call and through economics, politics and violence they compete with each other for control of resources, infrastructure and, most importantly, the hearts and minds of their communities. Where once a single nation stood there are now hundreds.
This is a world where revolution is a near daily occurrence as the struggle for our future rages on, but none could have predicted what would come from a small, forgettable county in Southern California. For now these 5 factions are little more than a mess of angst and misplaced self importance, but one day these unsuspecting individuals will learn to set their sights beyond their differences. One day they will emerge to change the course of our history.
These are the Legends of South County.

Meet The Factions

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. The real hardship, however, was yet to come.

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When currency failed and government vanished, anarchy of the worst variety overtook Santa Bella. Angel Gate harbor was abandoned and with scarce resources of their own, the community of Santa Bella quickly fractured. Dozens of gangs, several already well versed in violence, rose to power and turned the streets into a warzone. As the chaos grew it became nearly impossible for any family to stay untouched by violence. Starvation, collateral damage and even organized executions claimed entire neighborhoods. The surrounding communities closed their borders to Santa Bella in an attempt to contain the violence, but this was a death sentence for many in Santa Bella effectively locking its population inside.

It was at this lowest point that a young girl, now known as La Voz, began to turn the tide. The daughter of a Union Organizer, she used her inherited abilities as a leader to unite the gangs, one after another. Any who refused her invitation were destroyed by her new alliance, now referred to as the Sindicato. With all of Santa Bella now following her lead La Voz sets their sights on the rest of South County. She knows that the real test is ahead, and that if she cannot deliver on her promise of prosperity her people may fall back into the chaos they struggled so hard to overcome.
For as long as any can remember, Old Town has been the domain of the 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 the next muse.

Even after the nation collapsed, little changed in Old Town. A handful of the local elite formed an economic bubble around Old Town and worked to ensure their enterprises grew even as the county around them crumbled. Power was left in the hands of a select few but, at least for a time, things were stable. That would change when one inconspicuous day when two sharply-dressed brothers arrived from out of town and sat at their new favorite bar: The Black Rabbit.
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Nicknamed the ‘Stogies’ after their peculiar cigar habit, the brothers garnered a polarized reputation around town. Everything they did, from the way they spoke to the way they walked, was practiced and calculated. They were here to make an impression and, loved or hated, they did.

Some saw them as pretentious and immature, disguising their lack of personal substance behind fancy clothes and archaic values. Some felt they were onto something, tapping into a chivalrous culture that had been lost to a modern world. What they didn’t see, however, was the ruthlessness of their 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 a powerful cultural icon in Old Town.It became a true speakeasy with antique paintings, live music and, most infamous of all, a strict code of personal conduct dubbed ‘The Gentlemen’s Agreement’. As their popularity grew, the greedy eyes of Old Town’s 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 Business Council, and to join the Business Council you must pay your way in steep dues. Fail to follow the rules and the consequences were notoriously unpleasant.

To the council’s surprise and without a single threat being issued the Stogies agreed to their terms not only to pay the fees, but up front and in full. They had only one stipulation: to meet with the esteemed council to which they would be joining. It was agreed upon and the Stogies were invited to the next Council 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 and now set their sights on the rest of South County.
There are no words that adequately describe humanity’s 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 who live 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 the summer tourists and large commercial interests, they fought to keep their community intact and year after year they succeeded. Palmera remained the seaside village it always had been and much of the year its people enjoyed what they wanted most of all: to be left alone.

The collapse would change everything.
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In the weeks after government had vanished, for the first time ever, violence came to the beaches of Palmera. Outsider factions looking to acquire valuable territory quickly claimed its unarmed, peace-loving neighborhoods and in their turf wars with other factions it wasn’t long before locals were victims of the crossfire.

Each death was felt across the neighborhoods. The community’s leaders knew that their way of life was on the verge of perishing, but none knew what to do. It was from this despair that the vengeful fire of the Dawn Patrol was born.

A change was in the wind, one that would lead a once passive people on a campaign to make the outsiders pay for their crimes. New leaders emerged, some calling on past lives they had come to the sea to forget. Most mysterious of all was Noah, the Silent Surfer, who would be the one lead them. Through a campaign of guerilla tactics and psychological warfare he lead the Dawn Patrol to victory and drove the invaders from the beaches.

This victory would come at a cost, however. Tainted from violence, Noah saw that this community remained on the precipice. They could no longer ignore the outside world as they had. 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 people of power.
Few are as familiar with the shortcomings of government and the bureaucracy than those trained to navigate its extensive legal system. At the North East corner of South County is Empire University, which, before the collapse, held one of the nation’s more prestigious Law Schools. Within it’s stark white walls and modern architecture it housed some of the most brilliant and progressive minds in the country, not only from its Law School but also from it’s Engineering, Medical and Political Science schools respectively. It was infamous across the county as a place of intense debate and radical ideas.
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Even amongst the school elite there was one group that stood out from the rest, admired and resented in equal measure amongst the student body. The Fraternity / Sorority Alliance known as Tri-Sigma was well known as an over-achievers fever dream where top students supported and drove each other to incredible heights, not only in school but 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 the reasons no member of Tri Sigma has ever graduated without becoming a success story. These students were prepared to take the world by storm, but then the world came to an end.

Almost overnight the campus grew quiet as students abandoned school in attempts to return home or find new lives amongst the chaos gripping the nation. They left until only a handful of the Tri-Sigma remained, including their leader Nian Zhen Huang who saw clearly through the panic around them. This was not the end, it was a world being reborn. A world that would need leaders to pave the way to a more promising future than was promised by the old one. And so they waited.

When the dust finally settled and a relative calm reclaimed they County they emerged. They were no longer the Tri-Sigma of the past. They were Knights, and through honor, order and fire they would bring an unprecedented era of progress to South County. They would remake the world in the image of Sigma.
While many things managed to remain intact after the collapse, to the despair of many the internet was not one of them. Some who had scarcely seen the outside world suddenly emerged and even adapted to this new normal, but not all. 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 on mankind's greatest communication technology. Dubbed Project LINK, it spread through the South end of the county like wildfire. It wasn’t long before they drew the attention of others interested in controlling such a powerful asset.
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When the S.O.S. was sent out across the LINK, it was heard by many and before long eccentrics of every facet showed up to liberate the small team of geeks. Even after the invaders were driven off, people just kept showing up. They were all of diverse tastes, motivations and skill sets but ultimately united by one desire: to sit in a chair and stare at a screen. The LAN was born.

One would think that with their great numbers (second only to the Sindicato) and adoption of superior technology that the LAN would easily be the most powerful force in the County, and they would be if they could agree on anything at all. The LAN’s staggering diversity lead to the development of it’s cult-like society of extreme individuality and expression where only the loudest and most obnoxious are heard above the noise. LAN is not so much a single faction as a loosely tied amalgamation of cliques of every denomination. All rather reminiscent of the internet they once had.

But make no mistake. On the rare occasion something is able to 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 of South County, less you draw the wrath of countless disenfranchised nerds.
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