AN ESSENTIAL READ...
This site possesses an extensive amount of information and right here is the best place to start. Below you will find a simplified break-down of the world, enough to get you on your way but not the detailed nuances that make Resonance so rich. In order to develop your character and expand the world around them one needs building materials and you'll find no shortage here. That being said - we never expected a player to read ALL the lore just to jump into the game! So here is your cliffnotes - what you need to know to create a character that will readily fit into the world of Resonance. The rest you can read over time!
THE SITE PLOT
The world has changed but the Human populace remains in denial. The majority just want things to return to the way they were. Humanity clusters around their city centres and behind their walls where many can remain blissfully ignorant to the world outside. That world, however, often seeps in through the cracks. Factions like the Vanguard, Pharos, The Order of First Light and ARMA, all share the same goal, which is to keep the mystical world at bay if not hidden completely. Most Humans are simply not ready to embrace the 'altered' with open arms. This is the reality of the world... this is the Realm of the Resonance.
We take time seriously which is why we request time-stamping your thread with a date. This is to ensure that we don't have paradoxes and that our site events and our stories flow together. We maintain a TIME LINE for significant events and urge members to keep a time-line for their character's stories in their About Me portion of their profiles.
THE RESONANCE — 2010
In the span of a single day everything changed. In 2010 our understanding of the universe, the very nature of reality, drastically changed by the event we now refer to as the Resonance. There were signs to be sure, but they were missed, or simply ignored. Scientists assured the planet that the strange anomalies that preceded the event were nothing to be worried about. They explained away the strange sounds in the night as rare atmospheric distortions of no consequence. The immense sink holes and enormous mirages appearing across the world were dismissed as hoaxes. Only a few suspected they were more than they appeared to be but there was no amount of preparation that could stop it. In the end, one could only embrace the change and mourn the loss of an era.
Fantasy became reality as worlds lay over eachother in the same space for the briefest moment. In the span of a single day, the world, our universe, was transformed. What had only been written of in fiction now became reality: the good and the bad. Now humanity and the other creatures that have been bound to this world will either learn to coexist, adapt to survive or battle for supremacy.
After the Resonance the world was cast into chaos. The sudden influx of magic compromised the world grid, modern technology required modification to work but would never be the same again. The dead rose from their graves! The zombie-virus first infected the buried and recently deceased, the undead monstrosities preyed upon an unsuspecting populace spreading the virus through their victims. To make matters worse, Humans were stricken with two other super-viruses creating various forms of Lycanthropes and Vampires. People struggled to make sense of it all, to hold onto their world — their sanity.
Years later there are few that are not haunted by that turbulent time. It is not fondly recalled but people will always remember the rise of such factions as the Order of First Light and the Vanguard who stood alongside detached forces to carve out the semblance of structure amidst the mayhem.
This is not the world people of the twenty-first century remember. Technology, entertainment, economics have all taken several steps backward. Television had been reduced to syndicated programming, the struggling North American industry able to scrape together a couple movies a year. Hollywood near destroyed. The internet is a pale shadow of what it once was. Slow connections and electrical devices affected by the affliction of magic are pervasive. Computer networks are unreliable forcing the world as a whole to return to currency, plastic and paper transactions. Even the base physical laws of gravity and combustion are not always consistent.
It is a very different world, but humans are above all, resilient beings. They adapt, they maintain, and so in many ways the world remains as it was, at least on the surface. As much as the world has changed, that much has remained the same. Automobiles, communications, with modifications work just the same but in order to countermand the effects of magic, technology needs to regress to a more industrial period. The days of the microchip are numbered and manufacturers and inventors are ever racing to discover alternative tech to maintain the life-style of the modern world. The majority will not accept magic as a viable option. They fear it. They futilely craft archaic wards and talismans to repel it. While life in the cities appears civil and controlled a storming sea of prejudice and racial hatred rumbles beneath it’s fragile surface. Not everyone was changed. Many suffered the effects of the Resonance and have little compassion for those unwillingly transformed. There are basically two strata, the changed and the unchanged and it is the latter that still dictates the way of the world. A world ever on the brink. Zombie hordes and unnatural beasts roam the wild lands. Civilized areas reside behind protective walls ringing their neighbourhoods but every night is marred by a horror of one kind or another. People continue on with their lives, working their 9 to 5 blinded by the illusion of security, but perhaps it has always been that way.
Planes are uncommon now. The economy cannot support an airline industry and even if it could, magic for some reason has a profound effect on machinery in the upper atmosphere. People’s safety can simply not be assured. Only older model planes or those with special modifications are able to adequately function and these are private aircraft. Long distance travel for the masses is now catered by ocean liners and trains, but even these are not always immune to the effects of magic.
Since 2015, the popularity of trains has greatly increased. Mag-lev trains have proven safe, efficient and environmentally friendly. There are now new railways connecting larger cities providing fast transport (85 - 120 MPH on average) to the populace.
By the setting of the sun and rise of the moon the night sky reveals the remnant of the Resonance. A great black rift, void of light, haloed in shimmering violet hues it sprawls from horizon to horizon. The celestial body moves in no scientifically discernible fashion, sometimes high, other times low on the horizon, an eerie backdrop to our cityscapes.
The Nevus is perhaps the most distinct feature of this post-apocalyptic world. Just what is it? No one really knows for sure. Some scientists postulate that it is definite proof of the multiverse theory, a tear in the very fabric of space and time through which other realities spilled through, mixing together like the multi-coloured hues of oil upon water. The frightening reality is that we simply don’t know what this ‘rift’ is and what it spells for our existence. We are utterly and hopelessly at the mercy of the cosmos.
As of November 2018, the Nevus has been acting up and causing strange events. More information on this is found in the NEVUS article. Randomly, there will be periods of time where the environment is affected by the Nevus. It is up to members whether or not they wish to develop a story on these days, but it is, however, your responsibility to ensure that your character acknowledges these events.
THE DRAGON WAR
It was the war to end all wars. Shortly after the Nevus ripped across the night sky the United Kingdom was plagued by massive monstrosities. They descended from the sky on wings or rose from the depths of the earth. People were at first reluctant to speak their name, it seemed impossible and yet here they were — Dragons!
Why they converged upon the United Kingdom was unknown. In the face of destruction it was difficult to ponder a relationship between the monsters and the place of which their legend was entwined. These legendary beasts sought to assert themselves at the top of the food chain and claim the island of the United Kingdom as their rightful territory. It was a slaughter, thousands were killed before the military mobilized. The dragons were massive and powerful but no more intelligent than an animal. They were able to develop strategies to counter their marauding attacks and the rest of the world was not far behind.
The campaign lasted almost two years (2011 - 2013). During this time it was learned that there were two strata of Dragons, a 'lower' and 'higher'. The 'lower' were what would come to be known as the 'Common Dragon', animalistic, a direct reflection of the lore of the land. The 'High Dragons' were something else entirely, not unlike gods. The world had no chance against them, understanding of magic was simply too young and that's all that could be used against these titans. Fortunately they were few in number and consisted of two opposing factions, one malicious, one benevolent and their numbers were limited. While the military forces were winning the war against the 'Common Dragons', these two higher factions wiped one another out.
In the end the 'common dragons' were no match for military might. It was in those early years that technology had not yet begun to suffer from the effects of magic and so Humanity was in top form. The creatures were beaten back, hunted down and killed without mercy until they were believed to have all been destroyed.
England and parts of Scotland and the eastern side of Ireland were nothing but smouldering wastelands. Many fled to other parts of Europe and the Tri-Americas, but others stayed closer to home. Western Ireland remained untouched, a new home for millions of refuges.
Today it is not known whether or not any dragons yet live. Occasionally there are sightings, blurry pictures or videos from questionable sources. It is only known that any recent explorations into the desolate waylands of the dragon war have never returned.
Overnight, the definition of Humanity changed. People changed. The temporary overlap of alternate realities and universes deposited beings we had always referred to as ‘mythic’ in various parts of world. Some Earthlings were transformed into these ‘other races’ possibly bearing some genetic pre-disposition or perhaps it was all random. Nobody knows for sure, but theories abound and as all struggle to understand their place in this new realm that was Earth.
On of the most profound changes in our gene pool are what we simply refer to as ‘Altered Humans’. There are two types: Empowered Humans and Metahumans.
The Empowered Humans have been gifted (perhaps cursed) with a particular set of fantastic abilities scribed in the rich mythology of Human science-fantasy. It was as if the heavens parted and the pantheon of comic-book superheroes were all at once born into the population. They look Human, some with features or ‘markers’ that make them stand out but they can always blend in so long as they keep their abilities hidden.
Metahumans are those ‘Earthling Humans’ who adopted the form and abilities of a mythic race from another realm or time. The important factor here is that these are non-humans who once were human. They were once like everyone else, suddenly transformed! Beings struggling to make sense of who they were and the being they have become. They are no longer Human and possessed of genetic memories of an alien realm. Some of these ‘creatures’ appear human but commonly they are aberrations, misfits in the Human world, often unaccepted by Humans and Empowered Humans alike.
We also have ‘Viral Races’. These are Lycanthropes and Vampires more specifically known as the ‘Sheut Ka’. When the Resonance swept across our solar system and our world it brought three super-virus strains, the Vampire Virus (nocturnaeximius-virus), Lycanthrope Virus (lycaneximius-virus) and Zombie Virus (morteximius-virus). The last created a mindless, voracious, undead monstrosity that still plagues the world today. The other two created an equal plight of creatures able to hide themselves within Humanity.
In our setting we have four races that are set apart from the others. These are the Magus, Shapeshifters, Faerie and Elves. Some are metahuman, some have come from across what people refer to as ‘The Veil’, the curtain separating the realms that fell briefly during the Resonance. We call these beings ‘Veil Crossers’. Herein always lies the confusion of our world’s races. That some were once Human while others never were and yet are classified as the same race, but in reality they are. The only difference between an Elf from beyond the Veil and a Metahuman Elf is that one was once Human. The Metahuman Elf possesses a genetic memory giving them information on the realm their new race is from.
Magus or Magi are strongly entwined in our setting. They above all are most representative of one of our main themes — the impact of magic upon Human society. They could best be classified as ‘Empowered Humans’ who have a propensity for wielding magic in the form of spells. They are gifted with an understanding of how raw mana works and how to manipulate it and thus command the widest range of powers, but they come with a price.
Shapeshifters are magical beings that can change their form into something else. It is more than mere illusion, their entire form, clothing and all transforms. While other races may possess similar powers through other means this race exists to accommodate shape-shifting specific peoples.
Elves and Faerie are often from beyond the Veil. They cover a wide range of creatures, some benevolent, some malevolent. Even if they are ‘Human-born’, transformed at the time of the Resonance, the personality of these people is all encompassing. None ever retain what they were, only pale memories of what it once was to be Human linger. These are highly magical beings and as such they are most susceptible to charms and wards that Humans in particular use to protect their homes and businesses. The natural world moves in rhythm with magic or mana and these beings ebb and flow with the motion. Ripples and waves oblivious to Humans are very real to these creatures. It is what keeps them at bay and often what makes them resent Humans.
MAGIC and TECHNOLOGY
Whether one believed it existed before, or was only a whim of fiction, there is no denying now that magic is a part of the world. The Resonance and it’s remnant manifested as the Nevus have triggered changes that have allowed many to harness, at varying degrees, the manifestation of magic. Still, since the Nevus' appearance the control and manipulation of magic is still considered a rarity. The majority of people want nothing to do with it. Those that express interest in exploring it’s depths are needless to say, ‘unpopular’ in the circles of the modern world. Only about 10-15% of the populations of both Human-kind and Meta-kind show the ability to successfully manipulate it, and even fewer are trained to a level to reveal their full potential. It’s use is taboo, it’s use kept secretive until absolutely needed.
Magic is now a fundamental force amongst the likes of gravitational force, Electrical Force, Magnetic Force, Frictional Force, Tension Force and so on. It is, however, an element of chaos, disrupting the mathematical perfection that balances the others. As such, physics and especially forces like electromagnetism will not always perform as expected or calculated. Electronics and all complex human machines are based on a precise understanding and the predictability of these forces.
To simply define the effects of magic, think back to those times when a particular device, perhaps an automobile, was plagued by glitches. Various manipulations such as restarting or changing something seems to rectify the problem but it inevitably returns. This is the common effect of magic upon computer driven technology.
In a world reliant upon our well ordered understanding of physics, magic might be considered it’s opposite. It is thus naturally seen by the majority who rely upon technology as something to be controlled if not completely stamped out. Of course to rid the world of magic would be not unlike ridding it of air, and perhaps just as catastrophic. Earth is now reliant on magic, it is apart of it but from the Human perspective so are many other harmful elements. To them, magic is not unlike a radioactive leak, to be contained, to be controlled, which is why they dare to study it, learn it’s nature, understand it. The Human World isn’t ready to embrace the change, to sacrifice all it’s science and technology to rely upon mysticism and sorcery. Can magic ensure the survival of the Human race? Only time will tell, but the majority will fight against it to the bitter end.
Three super-virus strains (Vampire Virus (nocturnaeximius-virus), Lycanthrope Virus (lycaneximius-virus) and Zombie Virus (morteximius-virus)) have managed to infect a small portion of the human and meta-human populations. These produce Zombies, Lycanthropes and Vampires respectively; all of which are bloodthirsty blights upon the world and humans/altered-humans alike. It is rumored that not all were caused by the Nevus, it is whispered that the Nevus only awakened something that was already on earth.
The super-viruses cannot be modified by science or magic. This is because they are a corner stone of our setting and any alterations to them would cause drastic changes to our world. Your characters are, however, welcome to experiment away so long as those attempts end in failure. It is already suspected that the super-viruses are a combination of biology and magic, so many experiments are simply trying to prove that theory.
It is important to note that this is not ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE or VAMPIRES and LYCANS TAKING OVER THE WORLD site. While these creatures are a constant threat in the world, the virus is manageable and incidents are relatively low. Highly accessible vaccines now exist for all of the super-viruses and so long as they are administered within a 24 hour period a person will make a full recovery.
Many of the governments collapsed after the event and nations had to adapt. Necessity and survival forged new factions and powerful mega-corporations have also thrown their hats into the power vacuum of this new global structure.
Some of these factions are well known to the general populace. The Order of First Light long hidden behind a veil of secrecy has always been apart of the civilized world. After the Resonance many of it’s members gifted with ancient and arcane knowledge became Magus. Then rising from the ashes of the old world another powerful faction stemming from same order of Templar knights took their place opposite their magical brothers. They called themselves the Vanguard of Humanity, another secret society born to stand against the ravages of the Resonance. The apocalypse was their sign, their time to emerge from the shadows, into the light. They oppose magic, support belief in a ‘higher power’ and work to perpetuate the template of twenty-first century society.
Pharos, more popularly known as Ward Holdings before the Resonance was a powerful conglomerate concealing a secret society of archivists and scientists. They exist to preserve ‘knowledge’, interceding throughout history, risking their lives to ensure the survival of the world’s precious antiquities. After the dust settled and a new order found it’s footing, The Ward Institute was shining beacon, a guide amidst the chaos. They are for the most part a neutral faction trying to promote solidarity and prevent a civil war.
You will then find other organizations such as ARMA, a faction of Magus that have split off from the Order of First Light. Rejecting the Order's hoarding of arcana and their suspect or occasionally even outright dark motives, ARMA is a group of mages and other powered individuals (and unpowered sympathizers) who have devoted themselves to pushing back against those products of the Resonance that would do harm to the world's innocent. In the Americas, they serve as advisors and backup to law enforcement, while conducting their own investigations and providing proactive protection against iminent threats of the paranormal variety.
There is a general faction of Rebels and Outlaws that houses criminal sub-factions should your character choose to walk a darker path. The Sheut Nation is completely hidden from public knowledge, a faction organizing the ‘vampires’ and maintaining a tight strangle hold on their actions. We have the Fanya Niasa otherwise known as the Veil Alliance, an Elfin faction formed to represent the rights of the Fae/Veil crossing kind.
We at last come to our main setting, New York City residing within the Eastern American Alliance. The United States collapsed in the early part of the after effects of the Resonance, becoming what is loosely referred to as the Tri-Americas. The E.A.A. - Eastern American Alliance, F.W.A., the Federation of Western America and the S.C., Southern Coalition.
The Vanguard have a strong hold on the Southern Coaltion, while the Order of First Light and Pharos are strongest in the Eastern American Alliance. Simply put, non-humans are not received well at all in the south. The EAA is far more liberal by comparison while the Federation of Western America is far more conservative. They best represent the example of a corporate government being controlled primarily by the powerful conglomerate known as the New World Defense Division. It is a corporation founded on the bones of the National Security Agency and a majority controller of all the west’s military. From here our setting spreads to Los Angeles, which is the main setting of the western region of the Tri-Americas.
A large part of the continent, especially Canada is wild. These places harbor many horrors, zombies being the least of one’s worries. The animated dead, however, are prevalent and always a concern.
In the latter part of 2017, governments were finally formed and leaders selected by congress. Realistically the factions that support them control the regions but figure-heads and a semblance of a familiar political structure are required if the Tri-America's wish to progress.
- THE PRESIDENT of the E.A.A. is Mr. Dean Stanley.
- CHIEF EXECUTIVE of the F.W.A. is Ms. Leighton Holt.
- THE PRESIDENT of the S.C. is Mr. Jackson Davenport.
Our setting does not stop at New York or Los Angeles, the world is vast and you are allowed to explore it — help us expand it. The heart of Africa is a technological free zone. Ancient mysticism permeates the Yakuza controlled islands of Japan. Russia is irradiated, what remains of their population condensed into a few of their major cities. From sealed train windows iridescent zombies can be seen wandering the wastelands. We then have South America, a land transformed, where magic and technology have truly collided. Here the fantastic cities of another realm manifested next to modern cities like Rio De Janeiro. It is now land of Elves and Faerie, outlanders counselled by the Fanya Niasa.