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The wasteland Chronicles

"For almost 30 moons the place we called our headquarters provided us a home. Now it is time for a new beginning. May the city ahead of us offer the wasteland collective shelter and the grounds for a better life."
- The GrandMaester in Seed Moon of Year 2

It was a shocking moment for many wastelanders when the charming ramshackle farm house they had called their home burnt down to the ground. Now the walls of a dilapidated town's industrial area lie ahead of them.

We enter the wasteland at a point of uncertainty and hope. A perfect moment to take a breath and look back to what happened so far.

Year 1: Arrivals

THE UNNAMED MOONS

As far as we can tell today, The GrandMaester was the first one of the current wasteland collective to awake in an deserted, mostly overgrown landscape far from civilisation. Still disturbed and disoriented by being cast into a different reality. Even the weather conditions seemed unusual – dominated by low temperatures, a misty atmosphere and most of the time an unnatural twilight. Only on rare occasions the sun and the moon would appear on the misty sky.

At some point he spotted four rusty silos near a wooden farmhouse, to some degree equipped and with bleak catacombs beneath. The vacant buildings were all abandoned but after days and days of wandering around through a surreal wilderness, he somehow felt at home. The place seemed like the right spot to settle down and establish a first homebase.

Soon after, two more men arrived. g8s, the uncanny shaman with uneven eyes, and spr0ut, a man of science, had joined forces in an enchanted orchard near Stillwater River and then followed a little creek westwards until they spotted the very same silos as signs of a lost civilisation.

A few more days passed until a slightly injured st0nes arrived and eventually took over the responsibility for supplies and organisation. Finally, d0ck3r reached the building and turned out as just the man needed for technical tasks of all kinds. Somehow it seemed like destiny. At least this was what The GrandMaester kept telling his companions, claiming he had foreseen their arrivals in his dreams.

Two women were the next ones to find their way to the collective. The Inner Circle welcomed their precious support with open arms. Shad0w quickly established a small shop by the euphonious name “Shad0w’s Needful Things and Information”. Soon after, feAther joined the collective, a woman gifted with visionary talent who seemed very much in touch with the eerie nature of wasteland2570.

The awakenings of Fl!ck, 50ULM4T3, Ch4r0n, m0rl0ck, and ru3b3 can be dated to this early period as well – though it would take them a few more weeks to arrive. On their way to become part of the wasteland collective, each of them was guided by remarkable symbols carved in trees or stones. Signs which The GrandMaester referred to as "keys" in his early prophecies.

At about the same time, far north of the collective’s homebase (and almost unnoticed, except for an eventual psychic connection), an aspiring and charismatic wicca by the name of Åra was planning to gather mighty warriors around herself. Mantra was the first companion to join her before they encountered C1rcu17, a dedicated follower of the Great Machine God. The Northener's deeds and intentions should remain enigmatic to the Inner Circle since the connection was lost after some weeks.

Days and moons passed, and some kind of routine evolved. More enigmatic figures had entered the wasteland. After digging himself out of the ground, staTTer managed to build up not one, but two shelters. Feenja and s33k3r were both about to find their way to the collective after some time in the wilderness.

A provisional calendar was established. Synchronised with the lunar phases, a wasteland year was defined as twelve moons of 30 days each. Some felt this would not exactly cover a whole year’s time but the collective agreed that divergences in date could be dealt with later. Survival had to be ensured in the first place. As an important step, the small creek was dammed up to provide an easier supply of freshwater.

TAURUS MOON

Weather conditions were finally becoming more appealing when The GrandMaester decided it was time to explore the surroundings of the collective’s homebase. On the presumed day of Beltane, a small squad started an expedition. Heading south, they tried to track down the paths of staTTer who had been gone mussing after planning to perform a scrying ritual in order to gain deeper insights into the mysterious nature of an area names “The Wronglands”.

After finding a weakened staTTer the squad returned to the collective headquarters, reporting alarming findings. Not only had staTTer found a completely desiccated human body, but he also remarked changes in the surrounding nature. The strange area in which all plants seemed to prosper but animals could not survive was slowly expanding towards the homebase.

Another quartet followed the small creek westwards to find the banks of the Stillwater River. After a few days, they returned safely. Their quest brought some stunning discoveries to light. In an old wine cellar they had found various supplies that were much needed to keep up a certain quality of life in the collective but also some enigmatic objects.

DRYAD MOON

A third party headed east, trying to track down of a young woman dressed in white who had been spotted and seemed lost in the woods. But the woods and the winds turned against the squad. They found hints of an Wiccan coven but were not able to establish contact. However, they had gathered some useful items and even brought some living plants from an herb garden they had run into.

While exploring another old ruin, m0rl0ck’s perception skills led the young man to discover an old compass hidden in the crumbly wall of a tower. The cardinal directions, hitherto just estimated, were basically confirmed but could from now on be determined more exactly.

Around presumed Midsummer, the arguably mightiest practitioners of magic around joined forces. The GrandMaester, g8s, and staTTer came together to “pray for rain”. Finally, the heavens opened and sent down water – more than the ground could cope with at once. Heavy rains, flooding and muddy grounds were impeding further exploration. Due to the excessive result of their ritual, the collective had toshelve The GrandMaester’splans of inspecting the mysterious concrete block as a group.

THUNDER MOON & RED MOON

Weather conditions finally stabilised. spr0ut and Fl!ck reported that crops had taken some damage but fortunately were not completely destroyed. Repair works and other routine labours occupied most wastelanders’ attention and time. Meanwhile s33k3r seemed increasingly pensive and concerned since she had found a piece of cloth in the undergrowth somewhere in the forest. Apparently some fragments of memory came to her mind. It remained debatable if her invisible dog, which she claimed to have by her side all the time, was connected to her burdening thoughts.

The GrandMaester and feAther joined in the so-called “Headless Rite”, a powerful ritual they performed according to ancient scrolls that mysteriously had emerged in a cave – and had only been discovered due to the repeated occurring of some beetles suspiciously looking like scarabs. Massive time anomalies were sensed around the collective’s homebase. Strange lights were spotted in the sky, the area was struck from minor earthquakes and high strangeness phenomena increased. Some psychically talented wastelanders received visions of a nearby city, long-demolished buildings, and ruinous stairways to hidden cellars.

HARVEST MOON

The GrandMaester immersed into conjuring “the Old Gods” more and more frequently – namely Pan, Dionysos, The Green Man, and Hekate. It was first him and g8s who performed sinister rituals demanding special sacrifices. Not everyone in the collective seemed to be pleased with this development. First wastelanders started to become suspicious over such occult practices, wondering how and why they had actually awoken in wasteland and what had led them to the collective.

Ch4r0n’s and d0ck3r’s work on some improvised weapons and traps to defend the wasteland collective progressed well, though it was not exactly clear whom these arms could be used against. Or who would even use them – the collective was still missing characters with a true fighting spirit. Under the guidance of spr0ut, the members of the collective were all taking part in harvesting whatever they could find. Fortunately, berries, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, kale and crabapples were growing near the homebase, and some of the grains spr0ut had sowed months before had grown properly. ru3b3, who had recently acquired a liking for being out in the wilderness, was back at the collective for a few weeks and almost day and night busy curing, boiling and smoking fruits, mushrooms, roots, grains and vegetables.

A new ritual site was discovered, or to be more precise, seemed to have appeared in a nearby forest – an oak with four trunks and a pool of black liquid in the center. Out of intuition, feAther was sure this place bore the old name “Four Oaks” and had either played an important role in the past or would in the nearby future. Or both.

BLOOD MOON

s33k3r contacted g8s to ask him for some shamanistic instruction. He agreed on one condition – she had to unravel “the way of the shaman” first to prove her eligibility before she was to be initiated. The GrandMaester returned to the place into the forest where he had found (or received?) his amulet one year before. The whole place seemed abandoned, the dugout made of branches was half collapsed. However, he found a black shirt that felt strangely familiar to him, as if the memory of some long forgotten dream was triggered.

In the secrecy of night,he consulted Fl!ck and feAther and asked them to use their visionary powers on the garment he found. Both women were agitated by the result of their analysis and reported their findings to The GrandMaester who, after hours of contemplation by the fire, finally burned the shirt at the first signs of daybreak.

Several people were having dreams or visions of the ruins of a city. And more than one reported that the signs carved into the barks of the trees around the collective, named “glyphs” and believed to symbolise “keys”, had changed in appearance. A grand fire was lit near the headquarters to celebrate the first successful harvest. For one carefree night with lots of self-brewed and mead, the members of the collective were able to forget that winter was coming.

Year 2: Initiation

BEAVER MOON

On the first day of Beaver Moon, the Inner Circle found st0nes highly alarmed. A notebook and some memos had appeared, clearly in his handwriting and dated to “Beaver Moon, 1st”. But neither did he remember having written them at any point, nor did they fit current events. The wasteland collective had not even existed back then, let alone had the months been named.

This, of course, raised questions. A check on the collective members showed that almost everyone had experienced blackouts, loss of memory or even inexplicable leaps in time.

Shad0w was terrified when she noticed someone had apparently broken into her beloved shop. Following weird noises from inside she found no trace of an intruder. However, an odd red radio device had been placed on one of her shelves. After some inspecting and thinking she brought asked d0ck3r to have a closer look. Shad0w was surprised to find all her goods and objects intact and none missing. The mystery of the break-in remained unsolved.

COLD MOON

One of his expeditions led staTTer to find the ruin of an old temple, partly collapsed and defaced with graffiti but still holding intense energies. s33k3r and Feenja discovered new buildings worth investigating more closely. ru3b3 decided that following the wires of the pylons seemed worth a shot and set out for a longer trip on his own.

Several wastelanders were on fire deciphering the newly found glyphs. A new prophecy from The GrandMaester heralded new arrivals, important decisions at crossroads, and the coming of an inscrutable darkness but also groundbreaking discoveries.

Fl!ck, bursting with energy, demanded her own quest to investigate the spot where The GrandMaester had found the shirt and the amulet. She was also eager to finally examine the concrete block. Another exploration squad was sent out, this time prepared and equipped for a longer journey. Fl!ck chose g8s and feAther to join her. To general surprise, The GrandMaester himself offered to escort the new squad.

On one of her preparatory trips through the woods, feAther had observed an eerie man with a purple hat, flashy clothes like those of a circus director and a walking stick. She identified him as the dre4mc4tcherwhom she had met before in several dreams of hers.Suddenly other wastelanders started to take notice of the dre4mc4tcher as well. Still he never spoke or was addressed by anyone, most of the time he kept lurking in the shadows, observing and occasionally performing weird gestures. Seemingly with no connection, two more enigmatic women had appeared in wasteland2570: TR!NiTY and rh0nd4.

ICE MOON & HUNGER MOON

Slightly strained from the endeavours, and from an encounter with a pack of wolves, Fl!ck, g8s, and The GrandMaester returned safely to the wasteland collective's homebase on the 8th day of Ice Moon. Their analysis of Four Oaks,The Taletelling Beech, the Forelorn Forest where the GrandMaester's amulet had manifested, and the ominous Concrete Block brought some profound results to the cold winter light of wasteland2570.

However,feAther went missing when the rest of the squad awoke one morning, not far from the concrete block. The rest of the pack were able to follow her traces up to an enigmatic crossroads which was marked as Mortens Fork.

CROW MOON & SEED MOON

feAther returned from her side quest on the 7th day of Crow Moon. Her first report left quite a few questions. So let us have a closer look at what she found.

Soon after finding a hidden path at Mortens Fork, the place where her companions had lost her tracks, feAther found a clearing with a suspicious scarecrow. She received a vision from a past conjuration and from a fight. At night she made contact with the dre4mc4tcher for the first time. Whether in wasteland reality or in her dreams (or both) she was not completely sure about.

The next day she followed a path in the woods which seemed like a corridor. Further down her way she "found the ruins of an abandoned city but there was ..." 

... a raging river she could not cross to take further investigations. As she camped on the river bank, she noticed strange lights coming from the town's industrial zone which was obviously shelter to a group of strangers. At least she could see lights and smoke coming from some factory halls and chimneys. And sometimes, when the wind was right, even meant to hear the sounds of machines pounding.

On her way back she was sure she heard shots. Run and hide seemed clearly the smartest option, since feAther had met no trace of firearms before in wasteland2570. Later she encountered a strange old man that seemed like an old acquaintance and in a mysterious conversation. Bemused and bewildered she returned to headquarters and needed a few hours to sort her thoughts. 

feAther was eager to find out more about the city ruins she had discovered and initiated a new squad for her expedition. Plans were made, and preparations undertaken. On the 14th day of Seed Moon, feAther, s33k3r, p0is0n ivi, 50ULM4T3, and Ch4r0n left the wasteland collective to head north and find a way to cross the river and reach the town. As they left the headquarters, five crows were circling in the air and then flew north. That was taken as a good omen by the party. Until, a few hours later, only four crows returned, seemingly very much in distress. Would this turn out as a bad omen?

TAURUS MOON & DRYAD MOON

When the squad returned from Ashville, they had surprising stories to tell. All were unharmed, even though had gotten into trouble and fled the town with three stolen books.

On their way to the town, they had met tHeM3rch4nt, an old acquaintance. He had provided them valuable information about the habits and customs, such as that roamers were only allowed to stay in Ashville for "one day and one night". Afterwards they had to leave or become one of the "free citizens of Ashville", which of course came with some dubious obligations. 

"For the greater good" seemed the omnipresent parole of the city which was inhabitated by only 150 people, leaving most of the abandoned buildings empty. In the end, our squad reported they maybe had caused some havoc in town but using false names their traces would not be tracked back to the collective headquarters.

At about the same time, g8s and Fl!ck were getting more and more restless and unstable. "Time is a lie", Fl!ck hissed repeatedly. Their behaviour was becoming stranger and more estranged. Finally, they decided to leave. They were firmly confident they had found a way to escape from the wasteland2570, back into their former life.

The rest of the wasteland collective was skeptical about their plans. After all, g8s had been an obscure loner due to his shamanistic practices, and Fl!ck had claimed more than once that everything in wasteland were but a dream. The two of them were last spotted together walking north, towards the concrete block.

A few dozens of miles west, another wastelander named f4v5t - we haven't heard of him yet - was increasingly discontent as well. Due to some kind of club law his recent clan enjoying the opression of the weaker ones. f4v5t's pronounced sense of justice could not cope with such unfairness. He got into disputes with his former fellows more and more often. His facial expression gave his thoughts away to oponents and the clan leader who eventually challenged him to a duel for life and death.

Luckily, f4v5t was a man of hidden talents. He was a proper fighter with the sword, and his skills in martial arts were unmatched. So he prevailed, allowing the defeated leader to live. He packed his bags and his dignity and left the clan to head east, in search of a more honourable group of survivers. However, he made the decision to hide his face until he could fully trust again.

THUNDER MOON & RED MOON

Meanwhile, two more characters joined the wasteland collective. Revenant, a travller and an aspiring chronicler. And Heptane, a young woman who did not give much away about her back story. The same week, f4v5t arrived at the Headquarters and was soon having intense talks with The GrandMaester. All three newcomers were soon integrated and performed their daily duties in and around headquarters.

But strange things began to happen in Red Moon. In the early morning The GrandMaester left his room to find a scroll in front of his door. It was a letter signed by the Prophets of Ashfaroth, the occult circle of Ashville potentates. The writing was a clear menace and giving an ultimatum to return the books. Fierce debates among the collective members were the result. Furthermore some wastelanders suffered food poisoning, and a part of the roof truss broke down. Sabotage was suspected but could not be proved.

In the end, there was a vote on how to react to the threatening letter. Based on f4v5t's legal assessment, the majority of the wasteland collective decided to play for time and send a letter back to Ashville. Surprisingly soon, The GrandMaester made the decision to accept f4v5t as a new member of The Inner Circle to replace g8s.

Three nights later, an explosion in spr0ut's laboratory caused a fire. Headquarters burned down to the ground. The wasteland collective had lost their home. Some but not all items could be saved. Thank the Old Gods it was still late summer, so spending the following nights outside was tolerable. But soon it was clear, the headquarters could not be repaired or rebuilt. It was time to leave. But where to turn?

HARVEST MOON & BLOOD MOON

It was clear that seeking refuge in Ashville was not an option. f4v5t's experience in travelling turned out very helpful since he had seen the ruins of a town from the distance while still in his former clan. In the absence of better alternatives, the wasteland collective decided to try their luck right there. On their way, they met bla<k, who claimed to have encountered The GrandMaester in visions and lucid dreams already.

After more than two weeks of wanderings, the collective decided to split up. Shad0w, 50ULM4T3, m0rl0ck, Revenant, and Heptane stayed back with the rest of the collective's belongings while The Inner Circle accompanied by feAther, TR!NiTY, Feenja, Ch4r0n, s33k3r, p0is0n ivi, staTTer, rh0nd4, and bla<k went on to take a closer look at the ruined city.

Year 3: Anticipation

And then what happened?

We will find out soon. Currently the wasteland collective is standing in front of a run-down factory in the outskirts of an unexplored ruined city.
Events might follow swiftly on one another in our next RPG adventure "Town of Terrors".