Humanity is the central figure of recent Earth history, spanning back thousands of years. Capable of great evil, and great compassion, great destruction and great innovation, all of the supernatural races either come directly from humanity being transformed in some way, or have some need that humans fulfill. To this end, almost every race has a vested interest in keeping humanity from dwindling or going extinct, since their own lives are dependent upon humans.
We will not go over the history of Earth, since it can be easily gleaned off of a far more thorough site such as Wikipedia. We are really only concerned with the past few years of human history. Convergence: The Lost City began its story in the year 2021. (It will be 2024 in our story starting Jan 1, 2017.)
By 2018, humanity was doing pretty good. Cheaper and cleaner forms of energy had been developed, including the "Davis Process" which extracted pollution from the air in conjunction with wind power, and SolarCling, a cheap-to-manufacture "solar conversion film" that could be applied to surfaces almost as easily as cling wrap. New initiatives in the areas of health and education had increased the standard of living globally by 20%. The pioneering firm VecraTek, previously known for work in grown-to-order organ and skin replacement, began to move into cybernetics and augmentation.
And then, in May, disaster struck. A youtube video posted by user "Tomorrow Sky" warned of an upcoming terrorist attack on the United States Pentagon. But, instead of the Pentagon, it was a research facility belonging to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which turned out to be the target. Unknown to all of the emergency responders was that in the explosion, a terrible new disease had been released - Derivative 13. Concocted as a military weapon, D13 had been meant to turn an enemy on itself, causing whole armies to become violently insane and destroy themselves. It had been determined to be too 'virulent' and too 'uncontrollable' to ever be used. Now in the open, D13 spread like wildfire. Mothers began throwing their children off cliffs, brothers came at brothers with machetes, schoolteachers went on shooting rampages.
For almost a year and a half, humanity seemed on the brink of total annihilation. Attempts at defeating D13 just led to different, often more insidious, strains. Finally, hoping to prevent the extinction of the human race, several supernatural races banded together under the guise of The Consortium, put old grievances and suspicions aside, and began to work on the problem. They eventually came up with the Marigold Project, a joint effort which synthesized a vaccine against D13. Unfortunately, even The Vaccine had a 10% fail rate, causing people to constantly wonder not only about their own sanity, but the sanity of those around them. The vaccine's fail rate was later lowered, but there are still those who become infected despite vaccination.
Life after D13 has been very different than life before. Not only is humanity having to deal with the trauma they went through to survive, and the loss of friends and loved ones, destruction of homes and cities, but infected "Crazies" still roam the land, attacking people for no obvious reason, some of them sentient enough to concoct and execute plans of magnificent evil, others no better than cannibalistic zombies. Add to this the now often overt Supernaturals, many of which feel they are owed a debt of gratitude for saving humanity, and others of which have set themselves up as objects of worship or protectors.
Suddenly, in August of 2021, the city of Convergence and a surrounding forest appeared out of nowhere off the coast of Oregon, anchored on a rocky island previously inhabited only by a few birds and sea-lions. The walled and magically protected city, under the auspices of a mysterious benefactor known as Mr. Smith, and an AI known as "Ada" opened its gates to refugees soon after. Their laws are known by all, but not always strictly enforced.
LORE UPDATE: In 2024, Convergence, and the world, fought a malicious realm of creatures known as "The Dark". Unable to defeat it outright, the people of Earth were transported to a Parallel Earth which is almost exactly the same as the original Earth, except that it has two moons, and everyone on Parallel Earth was already dead. For more in-depth info, you can read here, but for brevity: Everything is mostly the same, except occasionally, there are weird quirks, like Pepsi now being called Papsi.
AROUND THE WORLD:
There are a few cities around the world that were protected from the ravages of D13. And some were completely annihilated. This list is meant to be a jumping-off point for those players who want to say that their characters are from these cities: If there is a particular city you would like to know about in depth, please submit your inquiry via the Question & Suggestions form on our website. Otherwise, please assume most cities suffered at least a 50% population decrease and extensive structural damage.
Austin, Texas - Believed to have been protected by mages, the city has some sort of shield around it. People can leave, but they can not enter.
Atlanta, Georgia - HQ of the CDC and the Marigold Project, significant amount of the human population survived due to longstanding CDC precautions.
Berlin - A cache of gas masks issued to the public, as well as strict quarantine procedures helped to mitigate the damage from D13.
Buenos Aires - Extraordinary rebuilding efforts being are championed by Mutant labor union.
Cairo - Currently under the control of an ancient Wraith, Cairo was protected by huge walls that sprung up from the ground.
Cape Town - Destroyed by military forces whilst trying to prevent spread of D13 into Africa.
Cleveland - One of the cities destroyed by Cyborg Death Squads. High level of destruction.
Detroit - Legend goes that the Cyborg Death Squads were too afraid to fuck with Detroit. Citizens in the city fought D13 and erected barricades made from ruined buildings and houses. The city is now a safe place for refugees.
Dubai - The playground of the super-rich is now a strange playground of the supernaturals specializing in human slavery.
Havanna, Cuba -- This city has been taken by the movement known as Humans First. All non-humans are presumed dead or fled.
Houston, Texas -- Largely burnt to ash.
Jerusalem - Held up surprisingly well, likely due to the city's long history of facing adversity.
Kingston - Largely damaged during invasion, now occupied by Humans First.
Kinshasa - Protected by Mages. Like Austin, one can leave, but never enter.
Las Vegas - Las Vegas is a city controlled by two races. The Fae are heavily involved in the theatrical and nightlife aspect of Vegas, whereas Gojira runs the more sordid aspects of bookmaking, blackmail, and gambling.
London - An ancient coven, known as the Red Cabal, and a clutch of Fae are constantly at war over control of London. It is reported to be the site of many strange occult happenings.
Madagascar - As everyone who has played Pandemic knows, Madagascar is just fine.
Mexico City - Decimated.
Moscow - Decimated, many inhabitants froze during the winter when food could not be harvested/brought in.
Newark - Hit by cyborg death squads.
New Delhi - Being slowly rebuilt.
New Orleans -- The vampire capital of North America was partially saved from D13. However, a large percentage of humans there are now beholden to vampires as ghouls.
New York City - A smoldering wasteland. NYC was heavily bombed, though reports differ as to who was behind it.
Paris - The vampire capital of Europe did not fare quite as well as New Orleans, but there is known to be some amount of stability there.
Philadelphia - Hit by cyborg death squads. Portland - Large amounts of disrepair. Mostly run by gangs. This is the closest large city to Convergence.
Rome - Initially protected by unknown means, it was later found to be controlled by angels and invaded and taken by demons in the demon-angel war.
San Francisco -- Extremely damaged in the Demon-Angel war.
Shanghai - In ruins.
Seoul - Main vampire holding in Asia. It is protected and is the source of the few advanced technology manufacturers which still exist in the world.
Sydney - Lost 50% of its human population -- being rebuilt.
Tacoma - Firebombed and wiped off the map.
Tokyo - Much of Japan is fine, protected from D13 by unknown forces. The entire city of Tokyo, however, has disappeared completely, buildings, land, people, everything. Update: As of April 2023, Tokyo has mysteriously re-appeared, though is covered in an impenetrable miasma of black acid.
The appearance of the City of Convergence has baffled the few scientists who managed to gain entry into the city. It has wonders never seen on Earth before, leaving people to postulate many theories about it. Some people say the city is of alien origin. Others theorize that it belongs to some supernatural race, perhaps even one yet unknown. And still others believe that the city itself is a time-traveler, arrived from some far future or unknown past. Whatever the case, people do their best to understand and live with the strange things that happen there.
Convergence is located off the coast of Oregon, about a half-mile from the shore. It is, as the crow flies, about 70 miles from Portland. Portland was partially ravaged by fires in 2018. It is now a constant war-zone as several militant gangs, Humans First, and Tomorrow Sky compete for territory. Scavengers from Convergence often brave the Portland war-zone or trade with gangs there.
Much of Convergence is surrounded by a swath of verdant northern forest. Although the city was presumed empty when it appeared, the forest was not. The plants and animals in the forest often do not match up with the known flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. There are rumors that strange, even magical, things exist in the forest. And, there are rumors that dangerous, deadly, even monstrous creatures prowl that area. It is possible to leave Convergence and go into the Haunted Forest, but the gates to the city are strictly monitored by the Border Guard, a small but well-armed group funded by Mr. Smith and Ada. There is a small harbor outside the city walls which was built by the Fae when they arrived. Several locals run ferry services on various sized boats, some reputable, some not.
COMMUNICATIONS-wise, there are some interesting items of note. The first is that Convergence has its own telephone system. It is not linked to the mainland and, indeed, the systems seem completely incompatible. There is even cellphone service within the city, if a special adapter is added to a cellphone. Cell service to elsewhere on Earth is notoriously flaky, as many cell towers and carriers have been destroyed or damaged. There is a computer network within the city, again accessible with a special adapter. The computer network is notoriously...quirky, since parts of it were constructed by the Ancient Engineers of Convergence. Nationwide, information is passed usually by radio transmission, retransmitted by amateur radio operators. The hourly weekly radio show, "National Public Broadcast", NPB, is the most widely disseminated and credible. It contains national news gathered from a secure location in Washington D.C.. They often include music from the national archives, and survival tips, to pad out the hour.
WATER in Convergence tends to be drawn from public wells, collected from rain cisterns, or (if one can manage to pay for it) pumped in from Pale Lake in the forest. The connection fee and monthly maintenance for running water tends to be fairly steep and is not always reliable.
ELECTRICITY on a small scale can be set up using SolarCling, a solar energy collecting film that is easily adhered to windows or rooftops. Again, those who can pay the steep fee can hook up to the city grid, despite the fact that the city grid is not always stable. The source of the city grid's electricity is a topic of much contention. Convergence Electric says that it comes from current turbines on the ocean floor. A great many people do not believe this is the truth, since that would mean the turbines were installed since Convergence appeared, and there is no record of anyone doing any such work, which would be a mammoth feat of engineering in this day and age. Others believe that the city's original founders, the Ancient Engineers, have imbued the city itself with a way to turn magic into electricity, and that it is powered in this manner.
FOOD is often limited in Convergence. There are dozens of farms on the island (not represented on our sim), outside the city, but they require protection from the strange and dangerous elements that roam beyond the walls. The farms do not produce near enough food for the entire city. Fishing is also lucrative, and a great many enterprising young person engages in fishing or netting. The local sea lion population has exploded in population in the past few years, and sea lion meat is prized. Most "hamburgers" in the area are made with sea lion meat or "mukmuk", and animal living in the Convergence forest. Food is also often brought in by scavengers. The Razors bring what they can, often canned food which has about a 25% chance of having gone bad by now. Trading is done with protected communities, usually via boat. Many people who live in the city grow small gardens in their yards or rooftops. When times are lean, food becomes...questionable, often being cut with sawdust or human remains. Death by starvation is not unheard of during hard winters.
LANGUAGES spoken in Convergence are normal Earth languages, with English being the primary language due to the location. However, writing on buildings and in books found left in the Convergence library often does not match with any known language, current or ancient.
GENDER can be a little strange in this day and age. An early project of Vecratek, known now as "Mutagen XY", was originally an attempt at a new fertility drug. However, a problem with one of the drug synthesizing units caused the experimental drug to be packaged in with other bottles of pills. As a result, there are the Xya, pronounced "Zee-ya" - humans with dual genders, no gender, or the ability to change their gender at whim. Xyaare rare, and there is still a lot of prejudice and fear about being able to "catch" Mutagen XY from them. You can not. However, at some point some of the Mutagen XY pills got in the Earth water supply and now there is a small chance that just about ANY person might become Xya. Some of the Xya use the pronouns "zie" for he/she and "zir" for his/hers. Others do not. It's really just their personal preference.
COMMERCEin Convergence is multifaceted. American money, the dollar and the cent, are used to some small degree. Barter also occurs with great frequency. Typical low-end items used for barter include: food, water, SolarCling, batteries, common ingredients for herbal remedies, books, fabric, household items, shoes, and common tools. High-end or expensive items include: electronics, processed medicines, synthetic drugs, blood, precious metals and jewels, weaponry, ammunition, vehicles, and magical items. The Quint, a magical currency native to Convergence, is also traded. A Quint, when it is snapped in half, releases enough magic to lower casting time or boost a spell's power slightly. The Quint trades for about twenty dollars American.
TRAVEL to Convergence is almost always done by boat. It is possible for an extremely talented swimmer to get to the island, and in fact, many of the Underkin are guided by Mer and arrive in the city via an underwater cave system. The nearest airport is 10 miles inland. It's a small place, with two airstrips, managed by a single female pilot. Not many people land there, as working planes with fuel are rare, however there are solar powered planes in this day. They can carry only two or three passengers or very light cargo and have to recharge a full day every 300 miles. On Convergence Island itself, there aren't a lot of large vehicles. Vehicles have to be brought over on the ferry (which the Romani did with their vardos). There weren't many cars in Convergence when it arrived. People in Convergence tend to walk, ride bicycles or motorcycles, ride horses or horse-drawn carts and carriages, or other small vehicles. The jinrikisha, or pulled rickshaw, is popular in the Silk District and the Hollows. The carriage house, or the gates of the Silk District are considered the best places to hire for transportation around the city.
POLICE in Convergence are somewhat non-existent. If you get in trouble, you're generally on your own. This is a main reason that people join factions. The highest level of law enforcement which exists comes in the form of Ada and The Things, who tend to only show up when the Convergence laws have been flaunted or broken on a large scale. And even then, sometimes they don't. The Border Guards' only task is to inform people of Convergence's few laws, keep people exiled from Convergence out of the city, keep banned items such as explosives and 'weapons of mass destruction' out of the city, and to check for D13 Vaccinations.
WEAPONS in Convergence vary. Guns are available, usually handguns, but ammunition is in limited supply. More specialized weapons such as sniper rifles or automatic weapons exist, but are extremely hard to find and will need admin approval. Melee weapons are more common, from ancient swords to rusty machetes, grand-axes to hand-axes and so-forth. Weapons can be worn openly, but many businesses do not allow weapons to be worn visibly inside and have given clerks leave to shoot if they feel threatened. Violence is common, especially in the poorer sections of Convergence. Players start out with one non-magical weapon of their choice (though if it's something like "throwing knives", then yes, you can have more than one). Unless you are of a subrace that starts with a magical weapon, you must obtain the magic on your weapon in game, which requires admin approval.
THE TWELVE LAWS OF CONVERGENCE:
((All citizens who enter Convergence by legal means will be given a copy of the laws of Convergence and asked if they will uphold said laws. They can, of course, lie (or enter the city by illegal means), but it nonetheless remains that the laws are well-known.))
1) Humanity is precious and humans may not be killed. Any action short of that which results in human death is permissible. The killer of a human may be exiled from Convergence. Supernatural or augmented entities, even humanoid ones, are not protected by his law.
2) The only exceptions to the first law is that any human confirmed to be carrying the D13 virus may be killed for their own good and the good of the community, self-defense, or those humans actively seeking to murder their fellow man. However, all viable steps should first be taken to incapacitate the human and remove them, rather than killing them.
3) Robots and AI with a sentience level indistinguishable from standardized human sentience of an 18 year old human, as determined by Ada, shall be protected against unlawful dismantlement or deactivation within the city limits. This law applies only if the robot is peaceable and correctly functioning.
4) Slavery is permissible, should the slaver be able to keep an entity enslaved. However, should the entity free itself, the law will not attempt to assist in the re-enslavement of the entity. As per the mandates of the Consortium, to keep the peace between supernatural and augmented races, no Consortium race may enslave another without that individual's consent.
5) As per the mandates of the Consortium, all supernatural and augmented entities (barring robots) are to appear as humans in public UNLESS they believe their lives are in immediate mortal danger. This is for their own protection, from enemy races and hunters, as well as for the mental well-being of humans who often fear and attack the unknown. Magic may not be performed openly on the streets, in public areas, or in full view of humans except in self-defense or in defense of human life. However, temporary Magic Work Permits may be obtained through the Office of City Works for specific purposes, such as repair of infrastructure, building of city defenses, or other truly benevolent or peaceful purposes. Permit holders assume all risks for the revelation of their true nature.
6) As per the mandates of the Consortium, the following magics are forbidden within the city limits: Chronomancy, Telepathy, Portalcraft, Fatecraft, and Dark Magic.
7) The following entities and those known to aid them will be considered enemies of the city to be brought to justice by any means, peaceable or violent: Humans First, Elementals, The Dark, Creatures of the Dark, Djinn, Tomorrow Sky, D13 Infectees, Diablerists, the Eater of Time, the League of Interdimensional Chronomancers, the Grey Crusade, and all enemies of the Ancient Engineers including the Divine Inquest and the Arcanum of Exiles. Dragons will no longer be known as enemies of the city, but should be left to their own devices as they are quick to anger and dislike interference.
8: All drugs of a magical variety, as well as the following mundane drugs are no longer allowed to pass into the city via the city gates or sold in the city: All opiates (save for approved medical supplies marked for the Nexus), LSD and other strong hallucinogens, Cocaine and its derivatives, Methamphetamines, MDMA, Ketamine, PCP, GHB, and Black Frogs. The penalty for doing so will be a heavy fine and confiscation of the drug or community service. The following drugs are legal to transport and sell, although the buyer assumes all risks: Psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, tobacco, alcohol. Establishments dealing in the sale of legal drugs including alcohol and tobacco will pay a tax to the city computed by Ada.
9) The following weapons are illegal within CV city limits without a permit from the office of City Works: explosives, fireworks, cannons, missiles, rocket launchers, nuclear devices, fully automatic weapons, and semi-automatic weapons. It is illegal to possess or use biological weapons capable of death or chemical weapons capable of mass death.
10) It is illegal to damage or contrive to damage the essential infrastructure of the city, including Adanet nodes, the dome, the Nexus hospital, emergency vehicles, systems delivering water or electricity, or the flood pumps. It is illegal to commit arson.
11) No laws are enforced during the Full Moon and New Moon due to it being chaos because of Shifters forced-shifts those days/nights. During those times, humans and those who are not combat ready are advised to hide. The Things will not enforce justice on people who break laws on these days.
12) Ducks within Convergence are a protected species. There will be severe penalties for anyone known to have harmed a duck.