Draft of the Cataclysm Lore Writeup

Okay, so this whole thing is gonna end up being like 10 posts long due to character limits while still keeping enough space to make changes as needed and having sensible splitting (the entirety is currently just shy of 100k characters, limit per post is 20k).

I’d really like any input at all from other developers. I was the original writer of a significant portion of the stuff here (though much of it has been accumulated over the course of the last couple of years), so I’m always interested to hear what other people think about some of the ideas below. I’d also love to hear from people regarding things that they created if they have any input. For example right now my history of Rivtech is fairly bare-bones, and a little bit more info on them would greatly help to incorporate them into the world a bit more while still fitting their original flavors and designs.

So in short: discuss, poke fun at, argue about, or otherwise deride the stuff below if you feel it deserves it. Lore compilations like this only work if at least the majority of us agree on the general direction, and I don’t want to end up being that guy writing stories only for everyone else to ignore them. :stuck_out_tongue:

[center][glow=red,3,300]WARNING: EXTREME SPOILERS BELOW[/glow][/center]


A fair number of these things below aren’t actually in the game yet and instead serve more as a bit of a “planned features” guide from a lore standpoint. Thus if something comes along that seems better and still fits the rest of the lore, then it’ll probably end up replacing it (More on the exact process can be found below). I’ll endeavor to keep this up to date as the lore continues to evolve, but there is always the chance that I’ll miss or forget to change something. With that in mind, let’s get started.

First up is the basic description of what life was like prior to the Cataclysm.

While the future government of America was sensationalist, reckless, and at least mildly dystopian, the average person’s quality of life was still quite good. Other than the constant worry that they may be attacked, most likely by China, the average person had surprisingly little to worry about. The government had encouraged disaster preparation amongst its citizens, and gun laws were much more lax, albeit much more enforced and tracked. As a result many civilians owned larger caliber guns or even small explosives, though very few ever expected to have to use them.
Meanwhile new technology was coming at a rather furious pace, and it seemed that in many ways we were on the breach of a threshold, one where we would step from being human to being something… more. The miniaturization of nuclear power and further advances in medical technology were leading to the idea of being a cyborg superhuman moving from science fiction to just science, and people looked forwards in wonder of what we would soon be doing. Robots had taken on a variety of more mundane tasks, and were leading to increased security and more free time despite the occasional problems that they caused.

Yet all was not happy and hopeful. Backroom dealing had gone up in frequency and shadowy companies and lobbyists controlled ever more of what happened in the government. Conflicts between the US and foreign countries were nearing a peak, and tensions were running high, especially between the China/DPRK and the United States. Voter turnout was lower and lower every year, partly because people just didn’t care, and partly because people realized how little of a difference their votes actually made in the long run. It doesn’t matter who you vote for when every candidate is in the same corporation pocket. Scandal was rife and the media loved it, but each subsequent replacement was the same as the one before, and while scandal changed faces, the overall situation remained fairly constant.

Next up is the basic timeline.

T-20 Years: Nuclear power becomes increasingly miniaturized, with the required size limits dropping every year. Bowing to various pressures and the lack of use of printed money, the U.S. Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury merge into a single entity, the Consolidated Computerized Bank of the Treasury. This new organization switches to a cash card based system, and cash cards become readily available for printing at all ATMs for a minor fee.

T-6 Years: Solar-powered drones (eyebots) begin to be used in police work. DoubleTech creates the first successful power armor suit. FuturePower patents the first real PPCB, a plutonium powered cell battery, and the military snaps it up as a mobile power source. In a perfect example of backroom dealing, tech startup AnywhereComputers forms a pact with FuturePower. Together they will design and sell a computer console at great losses and sweep the market out from under the feet of the current tech giants, sustained by FuturePower’s lucrative defense contracts with the military. The ploy goes off without a hitch, and though the previous tech giants cry foul the two companies solidify their stranglehold on the computer market long before the case ever makes it to the courts.

T-5 Years: After many years of arguments, restrictions on several of the more common recreational drugs have been significantly reduced. While still technically illegal, the common attitude of most places has become that many are okay, as long as their use is kept out of direct sight.

T-4 Years: Personal bionics become commonplace for the wealthy, and for those with high-demand government positions. Rivtech explodes onto the defense contractor scene and begins making headway in a number of other consumer fields as well, ranging from appliances to home security. Robotic police officers or “copbots” enter service in limited areas. To reduce start-up costs and reuse the older infrastructure, the copbots are solar powered like the previous eyebots and many consumer robots; while the military and defense industries have fully embraced the PPCB to power their equipment.

T-3 Years: Escalations in China and DPRK lead to a “Cold War,” with both sides highly prioritizing defense research. Transposition along 4th axis discovered by DARPA researchers. Drone use in the military and police fields continues to expand, and many precincts now contain more robotic than human officers.

T-30 Months: 4th dimensional topology mapped out. It’s found that certain areas are “lower” along the 4th axis, allowing for relatively low-energy transposition into areas of interest from those that are “higher”. In terms of location Earth appears to be much like a valley on the edge of a mountain range, surrounded by unreachable “heights” but with a connection to a vast set of “lowland” areas.

T-28 Months: Collection of materials along 4th axis commences. First contamination occurs but is confined to the two research labs with transposition equipment, and is in amounts so tiny (a few dozen molecules) that it is not remarked upon.

T-25 Months: Gun control laws greatly relaxed as a result of perceived increase in public safety and a drive for a more armed populace in the event of actual war breaking out.

T-20 Months: Robotic police officers are used in 95% of police precincts and now vastly outnumber human officers. The government starts implementing a plan to build evacuation shelters near most cities, partly to reassure the people, and partly to remind them of the ever-growing threat of invasion or attack.

T-18 Months: A new federal agency, the Xenophysical Energy Defense Research Agency (XEDRA), is created to oversee the construction and operation of 12 new 4th axis research labs, scattered across the midwest. A handful of lesser recreational drugs are totally decriminalized, though many harder ones remain illegal.

T-16 Months: Plasma and laser weapons are developed in response to rising threat in China and the DPRK. While they prove useful in specialized areas and are great for holding the eye of the public, their overall effect is largely marginal due to production and usage difficulties. Bionics have become increasingly common among the common man, though many people choose to only receive minimal augmentations.

T-15 Months: Increases in extradimensional research leads to collection of living samples. This notably includes XE037 (the blob). As time continues, larger and larger sub-prime monsters are retrieved. XEDRA begins to become increasingly internally politicized, with different divisions competing for research dollars and oversight staff conflicting in their opinions regarding the direction and goals of research.

T-13 Months: Short-range teleportation becomes a reality using fixed laboratory equipment. Long range teleportation is determined to be largely impossible, except in a few very rare subcases.

T-12 Months: XEDRA begins storing sub-prime lifeforms, particularly XE037, and researching their potential as a possible super-weapon. While finished many evac shelters have remained unstocked by the government, money instead being used for further R&D and military expansions. Gun controls are relaxed even further, and many civilians begin to stockpile resources in their own basements.

T-10 Months: Massive troop movements in China and the DPRK provoke deployment by USAF. For the second time in U.S history, a peacetime draft is instated. The successes of XEDRA lead to a greatly increased budgets and the construction of hundreds of new research & production facilities in appropriate areas.

T-9 Months: Civil unrest regarding the drafts is widespread. To counter the unrest a new police robot, the “riotbot” is developed and begins to be used. Like the copbots and eyebots of the past, it continues to use solar power.

T-7 Months: Troops begin deploying with cutting-edge bionics systems that range from extremely strong muscles to the ability to control self-piloted grenades. They are, according to intelligence, outpaced by Chinese developments.

T-6 Months: XEDRA gains increasingly unrestricted powers. Convicts with death sentences are used as subjects. Later, convicts with life sentences are used as well. The vast increase in research facility numbers has led to no small amount of internal confusion and conflict, amplifying the effects of XEDRA’s internal politics.

T-5 Months: The zombifying effect of XE037 is discovered. The military begins to establish military bunkers and silos across the country to better resist any actual invasion while still maintaining second strike capabilities. These bunkers are largely unstaffed, and are intended to be defended by robots until such time as they are needed.

T-3 Months: Civil unrest progresses into wide-scale riots. Limited martial law is instated in several areas and leads to the construction of military road blocks. Deployment of robotic police is increased to maintain order. Many gangs take the opportunity provided by the riots to pay back on long-standing grudges, leading to open gang warfare in some locations.

T-4 Months: Corruption in XEDRA runs rampant and the legality of actions is frequently ignored. Due to the perceived importance of XEDRA, and the extenuating circumstances of public unrest and riots, these oversteps are mostly ignored. Unsatisfied with the current evac shelters, the VAULT program is created, which advertises a veritable underground city to live in for the lucky few who make it.

T-30 Days: DPRK troop movements indicate an imminent attack. Missile launches batter South Korean port cities and act as a show of force. In response, US troop deployment is vastly increased, resulting in a much smaller military presence in mainland USA. Most of military high command is moved to a new, unknown location, known only as the “Fortress of Solitude”. At the same time the families of a large number of high-profile politicians mysteriously disappear from view, with the explanations all being that they are on “vacation”.

T-15 Days: The XE037 surge occurs. XE037, a kind of sanguine hive mind, is responding to XEDRA’s probes. The surge occurs in all teleportation facilities simultaneously. Due to a lack of immediate effects, the surge is largely written down as a widespread anomaly. However during this event XE037 contaminates the ground water and establishes “colonies” (slime pits). It is unknown whether Chinese/DPRK facilities experience this surge, as it is unknown whether they possess the equipment to perform transposition experiments. Unbeknown to the world, knowledge that Earth exists has just entered into the minds of the larger Nether factions.

T-10 Days: The first zombification incidents outside of labs occur. These are sometimes covered up by XEDRA; but often they aren’t even noticed, and the zombie is dismissed as an extremely violent rioter and re-killed.

T-5 Days: Rumors of genetically modified soldiers begin to creep through the population. Most are dismissed out of hand, and the government refuses to comment.

T-3 Days: Widespread contamination of worm and insect life by XE037 occurs, resulting in rapid transformations in many areas. The nation goes to high alert. Reasons are sketchy. Rumors of an imminent attack abound. News media briefly brings up stories of a few drug fueled maniacs attacking civilians, but they are quickly buried under speculation on a possible invasion.

T-2 Days: Speculation continues. There are rumors of a new street drug turning people into violent, brutal killers. There are sightings of strange, large, aggressive insects in the woods, but no official confirmation.

T-1 Day: There are suspected reports that the killers may be under the influence of a biological attack slowly creeping its way through the population, turning people into killers. Others dismiss these rumors as nonsense. The government refuses to comment, saying they are investigating and looking into things. A portal opens in a remote field, but the government responds quickly and suppresses information about the event.

T+0: Another widespread surge occurs in all teleportation facilities simultaneously, many times stronger than the first. The lab technicians frantically try to shut the machinery down, but despite their best efforts the portals refuse to close, and actually appear to be strengthening in connection. Shortly after this extradimensional horrors begin to emerge from many of the portals, and several of the smaller labs that scatter the area providing relays for the dimensional manipulation experiments become completely overrun.

Meanwhile communications with military high command have become increasingly sketchy. Their last known command is to order the bombing of all overrun labs, after which all communications with them are replaced abruptly with an ominous silence, and all subsequent attempts at communication are unsuccessful. Following their last order, the military unleashes their own high explosives upon the New England area.

The bombs prove a mediocre solution, at best. In many cases they work successfully, but in many others they only succeed in making things worse. Many of the bombed portals absorb the energy and create larger, fluctuating rifts. With the loss of stability some of these rifts billow forth huge plumes of noxious chemicals, causing those in the immediate area’s skin to blister, boil, and slough off. In other areas the temperatures plummet or soar, turning areas into land into arctic tundras or blistering infernos. It is hypothesized by scientists in-the-know that the combination of the surge and subsequent bombing has caused permanent dimensional weakness and vastly expanded our susceptibility to general dimensional contact. This is all fairly meaningless to the average citizen, who is mostly under the impression that life has turned into hell-on-earth.

Creatures from the surviving portals begin venturing forth and slaughtering those that they find who have managed to survive the changes the portals have wreaked on the surrounding landscape. Several portals expand violently into explosions of white spores before contracting down to smaller sizes. These spores float on the breeze, and many eventually find a home.

Finally the emergency klaxons that were supposed to warn of an attack sound, and a biological attack is announced. There is utter chaos, and many mixed messages among the populace. Martial law is declared and what is left of the contactable military is deployed in an attempt to try to control the situation. It becomes hard to ignore the fact that the dead rise again shortly afterwards, and that abominations roam the streets. Many head to the unstocked evacuation shelters or attempt to gain access to the military bunkers only to be shot down by the robotic defenses. Others lock their doors and stay inside, praying that nothing find them there. There is a huge migration of vehicles heading west, lured by the hope that the problem isn’t as bad farther away from the coast.

As day turns to night, a widespread caustic rain occurs as the first vast surge of alien chemicals into the atmosphere returns to earth. The deadly rain lasts for almost 9 hours, killing many people who were caught outside while attempting to evacuate.

T+18 Hours: Widespread panic sets in; deaths are rapid and common. Another wave of bombing occurs, and rumors abound that it may be a “second strike” from China in the belief that the portal surge was an American attack, but reliable communication is rare and misinformation runs rampant.

T+1 Day: The vast majority of the monsters in the initial release begin to die off, seemingly limited by the difference between their sub-prime home and Earth, and only those that remain near their entry portals are able to survive. Despite this the damage has already been done, and several find the new plane perfectly comfortable and begin to expand aggressively. Rumors of “tree monsters”, quickly coined as “triffids”, begin to spread through the remaining populace. Meanwhile all those who have been killed by monsters, the acid rain, or any of the other new threats rise as zombies, and even the zombies that are killed with bullets or normal weapons appear to raise again soon afterwards if not dealt with firmly.

Meanwhile though the military robots are able to hold their own areas against the undead and otherworldly threats, the measures taken by the copbots prove largely inadequate. In order to help they are quickly reprogrammed to behave much more aggressively, firmly killing threats instead of just trying to arrest them and adopting a much wider view of what constitutes a “threat”. This does prove successful in allowing the copbots to target zombies, but unfortunately backfires as it instead evaluates all humans as lawbreakers. Moments after the system update activates the copbots turn on the remaining human “trespassers” that are currently running the security network, and seconds later no one with the authority to roll back the update is still alive. The copbots begin to clear areas near their stations of everything, human and zombie alike, but are limited by the sheer numerical difference between themselves and those they are fighting. Meanwhile the eyebot and riot bots have not become genocidal to humans as the copbots have, but still suffer from the increased definition of a “threat”, leading them to imprison humans before contacting the copbots, which execute those captured without mercy.

What is left of the nation declares a nation disaster, and FEMA steps in quickly to set up evacuation camps in preparation for a large-scale evacuation, even as reports of the portals opening in new locations begin to reach official ears. Unfortunately the camps only prove to be deathtraps, attracting the attention of various deadly creatures and roaming copbot security forces that view them as “illegal homeless encampments”.

T+36 Hours: 50% of the New England population has suffered from either zombification or death. A rare few fail to raise from the dead, but the reason is unknown to the population. Rumors of a “cure” abound, and lead to the targeting and massacre of several groups of surviving scientists when they fail to “provide” one.

T+2 Days: 90% of the New England population has suffered from either zombification or death. National support is pulled out of New England, and the area is declared a total lost cause as efforts to control the appearance of new portals elsewhere are intensified. Areas affected by portals continue to change, as the effects from the other side of the portal continue to seep through.

The first fungaloids are encountered by a small military patrol, which retreats to a nearby farmhouse after one of the soldiers is killed by something erupting from teh ground. They report the presence of several large fungal growths, already human in height, and a haze that has settled over the area. Fine powder covers every surface within hours and the number of fungaloids surrounding the house seems to grow endless in number. The last reports hear from the soldiers indicate strange symptoms among them, and they are not heard from again.

Triffids, the strange plant creatures seen earlier, quickly begin to make their presence known. They are seen growing in multiple forests, and are slowly terraforming the nearby landscape into that almost reminiscent of an elaborate garden. They seem to know the fungaloids, and there have been reports of large battles taking place at the borders between their colonies.

Meanwhile the giant insects have begun to thrive while maintaining all of their more primitive impulses. Construction begins and soon giant hives, dens, and colonies dot the landscape.

T+56 Hours: Bombing of large US cities by an unknown aggressor commences. Some of those present think that it may be a possible “retaliation” strike by the Chinese and DPRK triggered by the same conditions as in New England occurring in their homelands. A crippled defense infrastructure is largely unable to respond.

T+60 Hours: The last defeated remnants of the national guard retreat to the nearest military encampments. Some of them are able to evacuate through helicopters or airplanes, but many remain trapped by the enemies around them.

T+72 Hours: 99% of the New England population has either successfully evacuated or suffered from zombification or death.

T+5 Days: The game begins.

Now that We’ve discussed the “What”, let’s discuss the “Who” of the Cataclysm world.

“The Big Three” (in no particular order)

In it’s default form the blob is… well… a blob. These blobs can join together to form individual colonies of various sizes, and adapt a variety of different traits. Each of these colonies maintains some individuality, but is largely part of a greater hive mind gestalt. This gestalt allows the blob to share energy amongst the different individual colonies, allowing for extreme growth and changes to be performed without necessarily needing the resources to do so available locally.

Where the blob get much of its character, however, lies in its twin abilities to both radically change its own structure and to form great symbiotic connections with other living things. This allows a blob to come to a new location, join with whatever is living there symbiotically, and then warp it based on the stimulus that it encounters. The energy to create and maintain these warps is draw directly through the blob gestalt, and is what allows the blob to layer changes on those it controls over time, slowly “upgrading” them to more and more diverse illustrations of the base forms.

As of the current moment post-Cataclysm the blob is fairly omnipresent, having spread through the water supply. It does form large slime pits in areas of very large concentration of blob, but for the most part it contents itself with simple widespread symbiosis and slowly spreading through the water supply.

Overall as time passes areas controlled by the blob should slowly become more difficult through zombie mutation and the formation of additional slime pits. However beyond the occasional slime pit formation, the actual land should remain relatively unchanged.

The long-term goal of the blob is to continually upgrade, change, and adapt to its surroundings. An earth where the blob came to be the dominant player on planet would be one of continual change and adaptation, a world of mutants, zombies, and chaos; and while humans could probably survive in such a world you might be more than a bit hesitant to call them “humans” at that point.

Short-term the blob isn’t necessarily very interested in our planet. Its current empire spans hundreds of thousands of worlds, and it got a nice head start over its main competitors on this one. At this point everything you are seeing of the blob is mainly running on “autopilot”, without much more of a goal than to “survive”.

As mentioned the main mechanics of the blob are linked to it’s ability to symbiotically join with things and adapt them. It does this by bringing in energy through the blob gestalt; energy that is generated by entire worlds focused on the task in other places it controls. Over time this energy is slowly used to “upgrade” things that the blob has taken control over, allowing them to morph into an ever new variety of more powerful and varied forms. Generally when the blob does this it tends to work on either physical or mental aspects, not both. However those that it focuses on mentally often are given the ability to control other blob aspects around them, essentially granting those nearby increased physical and mental aptitude. Note: Slime players may hear any offspring “talking” to them. This is because the “source” colony (i.e., the player) is one with an increased amount of mental aptitude compared to the normal blob colony. Normal blob aspects lack this individuality, though some of the more mentally advanced ones may eventually obtain something similar.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
Currently the biggest interaction with humanity as a whole takes place in the form of zombies, obviously, which occur when the blob that has previously lay dormant in the host creature’s body takes over at the moment of death. Beyond that the blob tends to look on humanity much as a person would look on a bee hive. The species living there are useful and can produce delicious things if harnessed correctly, but if they get too troublesome or are living in the wrong places it won’t hesitate to extinguish them.

Interactions with the Player:
If humanity is a bee hive, the player is a single worker bee (and many don’t even come to that level!). Regardless of what they do, most players will be below notice for the blob as a whole, and definitely will not be something it would ever conversing with. And while a single player might sting and cause momentary discomfort before they dies, they’re not going to be more than a minor setback, even with their dying blow.

That said players do interact with the blob in another, indirect way, that of mutations. Mutations occur when the normally dormant blob inside of a living player warps the player under certain stimulus. The most directed of these is through mutagen, a specific formula that is designed precisely to stimulate the blob in a way to create the desired mutations. Alternatively mutations can also occur when the blob encounters a strange stimulus, notably radiation. This can create mutations with a much more varied background, though if the player has already been mutated in a specific direction the blob will be more likely to continue to mutate in that particular direction.

Beyond this the player doesn’t really have any good ways to “fight” the blob as a whole. They should be able to destroy slime pits through collapsing them or other similar methods, and they should potentially be able to “cure” themselves of a blob infestation through rapid teleportation combined with only drinking previously bottled water, but beyond that the blob is here to stay. Potentially some other options for fighting it might involve joining either the triffids or the Mycus, both of which have methods to fight and destroy the blob at its base level, but beyond that there simply aren’t any real options for the player.

Interactions with other factions:
In general the blob doesn’t interact with the other factions, due to a simple matter of size and its preference for the slow and steady spread as opposed to active negotiation. It has occasionally communicated with the Mycus hive mind and is ambivalent towards it at best (though whether the Mycus sees it the same way is a different question). It’s been contacted rarely by large groups of triffid Hearts working in unison to match its scale, but largely ignored any of their overtures. Currently except for those two there aren’t any particular creatures large enough to contact with the blob gestalt, though many creatures have come to local “accords” through the blob’s symbiotic tendencies. The Mi-go, on the other hand, have been working near-constantly since they encountered the blob to work to “harness” its power, yet have been unable to gain any ground due to its changing nature. Thay have, however, managed to implement safeguards to hold the blob’s advance within their areas for now, at least.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for blob lore are ‘symbiosis’, ‘adaptation’, ‘mutation’, and ‘energy manipulation’. They tend to be fluid in what they show, and are constantly changing not as a means but as an end, growing and mutating solely for the heck of it. It might seem like they are treating humanity as an enemy, but in truth its just as fine with forming symbiosis with live humans as with dead ones, as the many mutations that have begun to appear show. That said don’t be fooled into thinking that you can communicate with the blob, compared to it a single human is smaller than the tiniest of specks, and your thoughts no more than the faintest trickle upon the surface of its ocean.


What we normally think of as “triffids” are actually little more than trained beasts. In truth there is only one true triffid present in each colony, and it lurks at its very heart. The triffid Hearts work much like a trained beast-master with a very large number of extremely well trained and well bred beasts at their commands, and are able to micromanage the developments and changes of their armies down to the individual creature if they should choose to do so. Unlike the other two of the Big Three, each Heart is an independent creature and is not part of any large hive mind, with each individual Heart carrying its own beliefs, ideas, and alliances. However as it is extremely difficult for Hearts to physically move, they have instead developed a very co-dependent society, which carries on through the vast communications and energy exchange root webs between hearts, a structure which would have appeared very similar to the fiber optic and wire cable networks of current day Earth.

As for the “beasts” that each Heart controls, their forms are varied and many, though a significant portion of them are composed of plant based organisms. Each beast is bred for a specific role either in the creation of the triffid “Gardens”, or in their defense. The beasts are all bred in specific nurseries, separated by species, and then harnessed for their particular task by the Heart.

Since triffids Hearts are each individual creatures, it’s worthwhile to take a look at their society. In general triffid hearts are very co-dependent, and as a result have formed “Groves” (not to be confused with the current Triffid Heart main building). These function very similar to the large noble houses of Earth history, sharing knowledge, resources, and influence. These Groves also form the ruling council of the Triffid species, and the oldest and largest Groves have vast amounts of influence over the direction which the species moves and grows in. That said the vast majority of triffid Hearts are not directly part of one of the leading Groves. Instead the majority compose one of the minor Groves, and hold alliances towards one or another of the larger ones. This allows them some form of indirect control over their government, and as a result they are very interested in gaining and holding the favor of the larger houses. Many a triffid exists that has backstabbed or undercut the doings of another, in order to curry favor with those on high, though such a thing is highly disapproved of if seen visibly, of course.

Triffids mainly spread through the establishment of new Hearts. These are created by the growth of a seed runner, a large, heavily armored creature that requires no small amount of resources to be expended by a Grove. Once the seed runner reaches its eventual destination it plants itself into the ground to establish the beginnings of the triffid communication structures before committing suicide. At this point the Heart grows deep within the body of the seed runner, feeding off the structure that it established prior to its death. The seed runner’s body also contains the basic seeds of the majority of most triffid beasts that the Heart will control, and while many Hearts contain a very similar set of basic creatures, the more advanced ones and individual variations are closely guarded Grove secrets. Barring these starting seeds the only way for a Heart to obtain new creatures is for them to pass from Heart to Heart and reach it overland, much like a piece of mail will pass from one handler to another until it reaches its final destination. That said there are many species that require larger amounts of energy than can be obtained by a fledgling Heart, and many will sleep for months or even years before the Heart is well established enough to quicken and grow the seeds.

Hearts are also able to move themselves by reanimating a portion of the dead seed runner around themselves. This is only utilized in extremely drastic conditions, however, and most hearts would rather die than utilize it. This is because activating such a mechanic requires them to totally detach themselves from their surrounding communication network, rendering them entirely alone in the world for a creature used to constant communication, as well as reducing their telepathic control’s range to only a handful of yards, and requiring them to abandon virtually all of their amassed resources.

Areas that are controlled by triffids go through a variety of stages as the level of control progresses. In the first stage the area is paractically bulldozed by triffid queens turning the entire area into a dense forest. After that stage a second wave of triffid creatures move through the area, shaping paths and buildings from a combination of the grown trees and newer plants, eventually resulting in a very manicured area that, except for a few differences, appears not to dissimilar to a modern city, complete with manicured paths and buildings. The end result is something that looks very similar to if someone crossed a giant farm with a large city, due to the design elements of preferred large, communal, single-storied, and often circular or domed buildings over the idea of the square, multi-leveled skyscrapers used in many human cities. Once this stage is reached the only further changes are the continued spread and addition of new triffid creatures into the mix, combined with the resulting nursery buildings that said creatures require and use.

The long-term goals of the triffid Hearts are to capture and dominate all species they find before breeding them to fulfill specific rolls in their gardens… and never do anything other than that. A world where triffids become the dominant force on Earth offers humans two choices, that of total submission and loss of our free will, or that of annihilation.

As for the short-term goals, the current Hearts present on Earth are those that are either crazy enough to move, or of Groves that are willing to bet everything on a throw of the dice by investing significant resources in expanding to this world (which is starting to look like a very good bet). As time goes on and the larger and older Groves become involved things will become more “civilized” (and involve harder monsters from the bigger Groves) but for the moment the goal of most Hearts is to simply spread and grab as much territory as possible, and if that involves orchestrating the demise of one or two of their rivals… well so be it.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
The triffid Hearts mainly look on humanity as a nuisance, one to be bent to their will or to be exterminated. That said if humanity should prove to be particularly resilient in its defenses the triffids do have their own Exterminatus, the ability to expend vast amounts of energy from the general Heart population in order to open portals from any given location to another. This allows them to combine all of their various forces into a single, harmonious army; one which is able to appear anywhere and destroy almost any location with ease.

These "humans" have forced the bloom. Thus this Parliament of Groves calls for a general war-sounding; let each Heart gather his forces and prepare, for tomorrow shall the portals open, and tomorrow we uproot this weed that has thwarted our efforts to grow. May the Darkest Earth and Brightest Light have mercy on their souls.

Interactions with the Player:
Triffid pose a unique opportunity, that of being able to enter into a “partnership”, of sorts, with a triffid Heart. Should a player refuse to bow to a triffid Heart, and resist it in the center of its domain for long enough, the Heart may offer the player the chance to work for it in exchange for rewards. At this point you would be able to get quests from the Heart and possibly some of the nearby allied Hearts, which could range from eliminating particularly troublesome enemies to possibly leading a group of “unmarked” triffid beasts in an assault on another triffid colony. They’ll backstab and try to kill you eventually, of course, but triffid Hearts live for an extremely long time unless killed, so you should probably be able to live the high life as an attack dog on a still present but much less visible “chain” for the majority of your natural life. On the other hand if the player is exceptionally good at what they are doing its possible that the triffid may advertise a trip back to one of the many triffid planets, where the player could continue their work as a secret assassin or hidden fighter for that particular Heart’s Grove.

Alternatively a player in such a position might be able to manipulate multiple Hearts into fighting and weakening each other, before moving in for the kills on all of them. By doing so the player should be able to avoid one of the major side effects of killing a triffid Heart, that of all of their previously managed animals breaking loose and wreaking havoc on the surrounding area. Of course if the player is wise to this fact they may decide to simply lead their assault upon the Heart when the creatures are mostly inside their fields, killing the majority of the creatures before proceeding to the Heart itself. This would give the Heart a bit of warning that the player was coming, but if the player is truly prepared it should still be possible to win that way.

Players should also be able to occasionally find portals that are surrounded by elaborate triffid gardens. These portals will lead back to one of the many triffid conquered planets, and the player may immerse themselves in fighting the fight against the triffid worlds (though like attempting to fight any of the other Big Three, the ultimate situation is a hopeless one simply due to the scale of their empire).

Interactions with the other factions:
The triffids have contacted the blob a few times, and each of those communications has suffered problems. In general triffids dislike the “disorder” of the blobs approach, constantly seeking to change what is instead of perfecting it for what it is already doing, and constantly messing with the lines that they set into their gardens. The blob’s general stance of avoiding negotiation and communication also serves to prick at their consciousnesses, as due to their lack of physical interactions communication and negotiation make up the vast majority of a Heart’s life. The blob, of course, seems oblivious to this and content to ignore them, which only infuriates them even more.

As for the Mycus, the triffid Hearts have a special hate of them, formed mainly upon their original species types as a parasitic fungus and a growing plant. They consider the Mycus’s goal of converting everything over into more of itself as opposed to harnessing their unique talents to be simpleminded, and they look on the flat whiteness of the fungus as the creation of one who lacks imagination when compared with the colorful and carefully managed triffid gardens. Needless to say they do not get along, and some Groves have even specialized in the production of the aptly named “fungal fighter” beasts, which are designed specifically to destroy the Mycus, wherever it grows. Yet despite this there have been rumors that in the past there have been Hearts that have harnessed the Mycus, or even joined into a willing partnership with it, thus allowing them to grow to great heights that have never been reached before! All sane triffid Hearts agree that such an idea is completely crazy, and only a madman would ever even consider allying with such a revolting creature as the Mycus. Yet the rumors certainly had to have come from somewhere…

In dealing with the “lesser” factions the Hearts aren’t above forming so-called “alliances”, but buyer beware! Many a Heart alliance turns to have a sting in the end, and many a species has realized only too late that over the last generations they have slowly been undergoing the slide from “ally” to “unwilling partner” to “dominated mindslave”. Yet so far it seems the Hearts may have found their match in the Mi-go, who have been successfully holding a diplomatic ceasefire for several generations now, and show no signs of backsliding into the traps that caught their predecessors. Whether such a pairing will hold or the triffids will eventually consume the much smaller Mi-go empire is yet to be seen, and only time will tell what the outcome will be.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for Triffid lore are “domination”, “manipulation”, “specialization”, and “breeding”. They tend to think that there is a place for everything and everything has a place… usually under their direct control. They are lovers of mind and word games, though they can and will act much like a snobby, disgusted noble should a mere “beast” look to rise above their station and communicate with them. They are probably the closest of the Big Three to humans in the way that they think, but don’t be fooled! Even the lesser Hearts are more devious than a great statesmen, and many have very little to do but to plot circles around those they interact with. Though they aren’t above rewarding those who they employ, even the sweetest of their flowers often cloaks hidden thorns.


The active Mycus is most commonly seen in the form of the fungaloids. Large, white, ambulatory mushrooms, they spread spores that slowly cover everything in white fungus. And in truth, this fungus composes the majority of the Mycus, spreading over the ground and acting as the energy source that keeps the Mycus machine rolling. Once a large enough patch of fungus has been created a location at the center begins twisting upright into a tower, nearly hard as stone, of the same fungus. This tower serves simultaneously as one of the greatest strongholds of that particular patch of fungus, as well as one of its greatest weaknesses. Should the tower manage to be ignited then there is little to stop the entire patch of fungus from going up in one enormous blaze, purging the fungus from that particular patch. (Though larger patches will create firefighting locations that may need to be destroyed prior to the spire to truly destroy the infestation).

Above all of this is the Mycus hive mind, however, which connects with each and every bit of Mycus, from the moving and living creatures to the very fungus that covers the earth. This hive mind joins all of the Mycus together, and works to further its goals in spreading and converting other things into more of itself, growing as it does so.

The main way the Mycus spreads is through the fungus itself, which grows and emits spores that settle in new locations. Additionally some fungal creatures can also emit spores of their own under certain circumstances, further increasing the amount of spores in the air. Lastly the Mycus spreads through a more indirect method involving a combination that includes the Marloss berries. Marloss berries are a small fruit that only grows in areas controlled by the Mycus, and induces a feeling of rapture upon being consumed. The simple aspect of eating one works to spread the fungus, as the Mycus is able to reach out to the consumer and grow in the area immediately surrounding them. And once a consumer eats a Marloss berry they are pushed subconsciously towards the eventaul path of joining the Mycus itself, following which they become some of the greatest agents in furthering the hive mind’s grand designs.

The first stages of a Mycus controlled area involve the fungalization of the ground and plants themselves. As this process continues the fungus eventually spreads to cover everything from concrete to cars in a thick layer of the fungus. Near the end stages of this spreading a thin fungal mist begins to appear in the air, one that slowly thickens as more and more area becomes totally fungalized. Throughout this whole process the fungaloids and various other fungal creatures have been rather active, spreading and actively defending against intruders into the fungalized area, but after a given area becomes totally fungalized and the fungal mists become thicker they begin to calm down, gathering in large, stationary groups unless disturbed by an outside source, with the exception of some of the larger Mycus creatures that continue to monitor and care for the patch as a whole.

Additionally once a given fungal patch reaches a certain size a stony fungal tower begins to twist upwards in the middle of it, growing taller and more complex as the aptch continues to grow in size. This tower acts as a focal point for the entire fungal patch, and should it be destroyed it can prove extremely damaging or even catostrophic to that particular patch.

The eventual goal of the Mycus is simple, to consume everything and convert it into more of itself. And while that goal might seem similar to that of the triffid Hearts, the implementation is anything but the same. Where the triffids seek domination, and wish for you to bend to their will, the Mycus is much happier to convince you to come to their side by your own designs. Those who are willing to work for their goals make much better converts, and they see it as being better to have a willing ally than that of a slave. This is not, however, to say that their methods of convincing you are necessarily any better; the Mycus is not above using the equivalent of drugs or force to make you want to join them if that is what it takes to do so, though it would much prefer you to join willingly.

A world where the Mycus becomes the dominant force is a white, fungal world. Such a world is indeed one that humans could potentially survive in unchanged, though they would be mainly limited to caves and other areas, only able to traverse the outside world while covered completely from head to toe to prevent spore infection. More likely, though, a world ruled by the Mycus will be one with no more humans, as all of those that are left have already made the decision to willingly join the Mycus, joining in the eternal bliss of the hive mind.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
The Mycus would love nothing more than if humanity as a whole decided to join them, undergoing the process of slowly transforming from their current selves into just another group of fungaloids serving the hive mind. And like any bad drug dealer they will happily attempt to convince us that if we are willing to take just one more step closer, do one more little thing for them then they will happily give us absolute bliss for our enjoyment.

Interactions with the Player:
The biggest interaction with the Player that the Mycus can perform happens when the player eventually joins the Mycus. This occurs when the player completes the various steps (currently eating Marloss berries, seeds, and gelatin), and follows through by consuming the Mycus fruit. This allows the player to work for the betterment of all Mycus kinda, as well as allowing them to hear the overarching Mycus hive mind and obtain unique Mycus mutations that are unable to be obtained in any other way. Ideally the hive mind should eventually reward the player for continuing to spread the fungus through good morale and blissful feelings, as well as working to nurture them and take care of their needs while they are in fungalized areas large enough to support them. Joining the hive mind should have its rewards, after all.

Beyond this the Mycus mainly serves as an eventual antagonist to the player, serving as a “white tide” that slowly continues to spread and consumes all that it covers. Players should be able to eventually destroy entire fungalized areas by first destroying any anti-fire locations within the patch, then working to climb the spire and ignite it from the very top where it is still vulnerable to the flames, then running for their lives as the world around them proceeds to ignite into a giant inferno. This should also have a chance of revealing a portal where the player may then “take the fight back” to one of the many Mycus conquered worlds and spend their lives as a guerrilla fighter (though they have no true hope of winning).

Interactions with other factions:
The Mycus in general doesn’t get along too well with the other Big Three. They possess an intense dislike of the blob and will “purge” it from those that join them (a process that can be quite excruciating for those involved). However this mainly comes from the constantly changing nature of the blob granting it an innate resistance to being assimilated by the Mycus (though they can “hijack” the things that the blob has obtained control over while still maintaining the changes the blob has already performed; as can be seen in the cases of fungal zombies and fungal ants). They also have a bit of a grudge with the triffids, who refuse to become one with them despite the many specialized benefits that a relationship with the Mycus can provide the triffid Hearts. They also don’t quite understand what the triffids find so bland about the whiteness of the worlds they have conquered; where triffids see only a blank white canvas, the Mycus sees an endless variety of shades and hidden gradients only waiting to be seen.

For the lesser factions the Mycus tends to approach them much in the same way that it does humanity; by offering them eternal bliss if they join, or forceful conversion if they refuse. The Mi-go have responded to these overtures with fire for the most part, and have begun working on genetic modifications that would allow their operatives to become totally immune to the fungus, or even emit chemicals that would kill it on contact. Such efforts have met mixed results at best, mainly due to sabotage by those the Mycus has managed to sway, but their work remains undaunted and their modifications continually increase in perfection.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for Mycus lore are “assimilation”, “conversion”, “persuasion”, and “overwhelming numbers”. The Mycus thinks that everything would be best for everyone if they would simply join the collective, and it doesn’t always understand why people don’t see it the same way that it does. And while it seems like the Mycus cares deeply about you, the facade only holds should you decide to join them. For those that reject the will of the collective the Mycus only offers rage and death.

Lesser Players

The basic form of the Mi-go is a large, crab-like creature. There is some slight variance to this, though, and once more Mi-gos can actually be encountered it is intended for their to be the possibility to find Mi-go’s that have been genetically altered to differ in one way or another in order to perform a specific task better, or just for the personal taste of the Mi-go. Their overall form should remain mostly identical, however, at least to the point that the player can look at something and say “that is a Mi-go” on first sight.

Mi-go are very good with the medical sciences, especially those involving fast genetic modification (which can result in changes similar to the ooze, but much more powerful and permanent due to not depending on the ooze to maintain their form). They are also extremely good at learning languages, and when combined with their very versatile vocal chords a determined Mi-go can often make adequate attempts at communicating after only a very small amount of contact with any given language.

Mi-go society is not too different from modern day society, being mainly technologically based (albeit much more focused on genetic and bioengineering than on mechanical engineering), and being somewhat accepting of those that differ from them, including other Nether races. While not being as large as the land controlled by the Big Three (which is near innumerable in size), the Mi-go do maintain an empire much larger than any currently on earth, numbering in several different plants and other outposts around the many Nether planes. However their society is distinctly two-classed, one is either a Mi-go, and thus automatically entitled to a variety of privileges involving governance and science, or one is not. For those not lucky enough to be a Mi-go they are still able to live and work in Mi-go cities, and to buy and sell goods as they desire, assuming they follow the basic laws (which are very similar to modern day’s). However they have no right to vote, are prohibited from accessing the very interior “Mi-go only” areas (which even slaves are banned from), and while they have access to many of the Mi-go’s technological advantages, the most advanced and greatest of their achievements (specifically in the world of genetic engineering) are generally confined to Mi-gos only, with even the lesser achievements often costing much more to non-Mi-gos than to Mi-gos. Non-Mi-go are also prohibited from working as scientists, serving in the military, or working as doctors (though the last has many “back alley” non-Mi-go practitioners). However in many additional cases the services of a Mi-go worker will still be preferred over their non-Mi-go counterparts by Mi-go patients and consumers. The one area that proves to be the exception to this rule is the area of machinery, in which non-Mi-gos have flourished. This is largely due to the Mi-go’s general disdain for machinery, preferring their own genetically engineered (and thus Mi-go produced) alternatives to most machinery-based constructs.

Mi-gos do practice the art of slavery, and often new “acquisitions” to the Mi-go empire are forced to pay a one-time percentage of their total population in exchange for the “uplift” that the Mi-go “grant” them. This slavery is hereditary, though “mixed” children are considered to be free, slaves are allowed to buy or earn their own freedom with the approval of their owner, and the Mi-go do not approve of those who capture other marked non-Mi-go “citizens” and attempt to force them into slavery. Slaves are also granted the same protection under the law as any other non-Mi-go citizen, short of their right to refuse work and the right of their owner to “suitably” punish them. Additionally the Mi-go look upon those who mistreat their slaves much in the same way the people of the modern world would look upon someone withdrawing money from a bank and then burning it, self-defeating at best, and crazy at the worst.

In terms of government the Mi-go tend to keep their own council, and almost no knowledge of what goes on in their elaborate buildings deep within the Mi-go only interiors of their cities ever becomes available to those outside. What little is known is that they do have a particular position of power known by a title that translates roughly as the “Magnum Innominandum”, but whether this position roughly equate to a King, a Prime Minister, a Mayor, or something completely different is unknown.

The Mi-go general spread through the conquest of smaller areas that they encounter. This begins with the sending of infiltrators, scouts, spies, and saboteurs, such as the Mi-go that players general encounter. Once the new area has been scouted out and the basics of the culture and technology of the area has been determined, the Mi-go will tend to strike in great military numbers in an attempt to take and secure an area. After the area has been secured a wave of Mi-go builders will appear to raise the black terraced pyramids that form the core of any Mi-go city, a core that is quickly surrounded by houses holding a large number of Mi-go immigrants and workers, beyond which a number of buildings play host to an astonishing variety of other Nether races. Meanwhile the Mi-go army performs their “tariff”, which consists of capturing a number of “slave catchers”, marking them with a specific genetic marker, and commanding them to bring a number of their own species (having suffered no serious harm, and in relatively good health) within a certain time to the Mi-go before releasing them again. Should they fail in their task they are instead marked as a slave upon their next return, taking the place of part of their shipment, and a new person is marked. This continues until such time as the Mi-go reach their desired percentage of the total population, based on how much “uplift” they deem a civilization to need and how resistant said civilization was to the Mi-go’s coming. These slaves, as well as any captured “resistors” to the Mi-go’s coming, are sold off in the Slave Yards (at no profit to the “catcher”), which are generally placed near the border of the “Mi-go” and “non-Mi-go” areas of the city, albeit well outside of the “Mi-go only” central area. Meanwhile any non-Mi-go that arrives at their cities and is not selected to be a “catcher” is simply tagged with a gentic enhancement to mark them as a non-Mi-go citizen and is left to go on their way.

Once a Mi-go city is fully established there is little visible progression except for the slow growth of the cities in size, complexity, and height, as well as the occasional new city being created in the area.

The long term goals of the Mi-go are to grow their empire in power and size, as well as to delve deeper into the mysteries of medical sciences and bioengineering. Beyond that their goals are much similar to that of any empire in the grip of imperialism, to expand and grow for their own glory. Eventually they hope to rival the Big Three in power and size, but for now that is a far off pipe dream only entertained in their own speculative fiction.

A world controlled by the Mi-go would not differ immensely for the common human than that in the modern world. Humans would lose their right of self-governance, and a portion of them would be forced into slavery, but Mi-go laws about “humane” treatment do not differ significantly from those of modern day societies (except in such cases that involve a Mi-go and a non-Mi-go, where the punishments are often much more severe for the non-Mi-go and less for the Mi-go, though Mi-go can and have been punished for offenses against non-Mi-go). A world under the Mi-go is a world of constant color and new cultures, as humanity meets new Nether creatures and their individual cultures by the dozen. A “melting pot” as immigrants from a variety of different worlds all strive to gain security, power, and influence; at least to such extent as non-Mi-go can gain such things.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
Probably the largest interaction the Mi-go would have with humanity as a whole would be the initial enslavement of a portion of humanity as a whole. This amount will greatly depend on how much humanity resists the Mi-go invasion of their areas, and could possibly reach as high as 90% of the surviving humans, or be as low as 33%. Beyond this the Mi-go would simply treat humanity as another species contained within their grand empire; follow the laws and you can survive just like anyone else can. And hey, being a second class citizen is still better than being a zombie, right?

Interactions with the Player:
The Mi-go offer the player a variety of places to go and things to do in a way very similar to a large faction encampment would, though with a much more alien flavor to it. Upon entering a Mi-go city and first registering as a citizen players may be forced into a “slave catcher” quest, forcing them to capture a number of other NPC’s without harming or mistreating them significantly before a certain time. Fail to do so, and the player themselves could be attempted to be forced into slavery. Once a “citizen” players should be able to interact with the Mi-go themselves and a large variety of other Nether species in a relatively safe environment, offering plenty of opportunities for different quests. The player may be able to work for various nether races to go and check out reported locations of portals that once connected to their homeworlds, returning either with some unique items or with the knowledge that said report was false. Alternatively the player might work as a legitimate trader or craftsman, moving goods around or crafting them to trade (though how much use a Gracken might get out of a wool sweater may vary drastically from what you would expect). As time passes the Mi-go encampments should grow, offering more opportunities for the player and eventually a semblance of an almost urban environment to play in.

Alternatively a player may instead look into the “darker” side of the Mi-go encampments, becoming an enforcer for one of the street gangs or looking into the equivalent of alien drug running (Marloss berries?). They may even end up being a thief or assassin, breaking into heavily guarded Mi-go homes to execute their mark without a trace. Should they be caught they would almost certainly be executed for such a crime, of course, but those are the risks after all. Maybe they partner up with a back alley human doctor, and work to retrieve what human medicines they can from the decimated remnants of the human cities. Or maybe they manage to convince the Mi-go that they would work best as a double agent, and join gangs only to betray them to the authorities once they gain their trust. Should the player manage to earn enough money (or get lucky enough to steal one) they should be able to get their hands on a genetic “passport”, which would allow them access back to one of the many Mi-go controlled worlds. This would be a world not too unlike a giant metropolis, albeit with an alien biogenetic swing to it. There the player could either continue anything else they could have done in the first Mi-go city, or possibly work on a quest chain as the smaller gang or thieves’ guild they joined attempts to break into the world of the big city.

Or maybe the player takes the movement against the Mi-go authorities a step further. Becoming a human underground member should be an option, and while it should require large risks, it offers some of the best access to black market Mi-go technology as well as a potential to make a difference. Who knows, with some of the right pushes you might even be able to make these Nether beasts go back where they came from!

The Mi-go should also offer the player a new mechanism for changing their bodies, genetic enhancements. The first of these comes automatically upon joining as a Mi-go citizen, marking you as such and preventing the player’s body from rising as a zombie upon death. The “slave catcher” and “passport” markers are others, and all three should be able to be added to the player with no complication chances. Beyond this the genetic enhancements should function similar to a biological bionic, powerful and reliable, but unlike bionics or mutations they are completely permanent. Upon gaining a syringe with the particular enhancement, either through theft or a black market deal, the player should be able to inject it (with a potential failure estimate message). The player should be reliably able to obtain 3-5 of these mutations (in addition to the previously mentioned “markers”), after which their chance of success should drastically decrease. Should a genetic enhancement fail the player can expect a significant amount of pain, possibly some damage, and that particular enhancement and a small number of random others to be permanently marked “unavailable” to them. Lastly the player should be careful, the Mi-go don’t exactly approve of the player showcasing their best wares that are reserved for the Mi-go alone, and while one or two may be able to pass unnoticed, they might not be as forgiving when the player walks around with an entire body covered in illegal enhancements.

Interactions with other factions:
The Mi-go fall into a unique spot of not being too big and not being too small, while being generally accepting that allows for a vast amount of interaction with other factions, and in fact Mi-go cities may be the only place the player ever comes into contact with a number of fairly unique Nether monsters such as the Gracken in any significant numbers. The one particular race that is deeply tied with the Mi-go is that of the kreck. Having encountered them long ago, and finding their civilization particularly lacking, the Mi-go enslaved nearly all of the kreck, and short of a small number of kreck populations still living in the “wild” the vast majority have taken to slavery by the Mi-go quite well. Kreck occupy the large portion of Mi-go slaves, due to their slight lack of intelligence and their strange, grunting language making it exceptionally difficult for them to betray any of their master’s secrets, or even gather up the knowledge and willpower to do so.

Beyond their interactions with and absorption of smaller factions, the Mi-go are also large enough to have had some interactions with the Big Three. In terms of the blob the Mi-go have mainly assumed a prohibitory approach, though research into genetic enhancements to allow one to “control” the blob have been underway for years now without much success. At this point they have perfected only two things, the first being a modification to their “citizen” marker that prevents the blob from gaining control of a creature upon it’s death, and the second being a biological machine that is able to draw the blob out of water that passes through it. While these measures don’t allow them to “cure” those already infected by the blob, this does allow them to stop it from spreading in areas that they control. The blob, of course, has decided to simply evolve around their countermeasures, and the result is rapidly becoming an arms race as the blob continually comes up with new methods to try to slip around the Mi-go preventative measures while the Mi-go are constantly developing better ones.

On the other hand the Mi-go have taken a much more proactive approach towards the Mycus, one which usually involves fire and has lasted solely due to the normal “let them join us or be consumed by our spores” approach of the Mycus. In response the Mi-go have modified their “citizen” marker to provide some small protection against fungal infection, and are working to develop more advanced enhancements that allow one to become totally immune or even to exude an anti-fungal agent from their skin. Meanwhile Marloss berries have become a class I contraband, and anti-Mycal units have been added to the various Mi-go police forces. Obvious fungal adaptors have been prohibited from entering Mi-go cities, and are imprisoned on the spot in specialized jail cells, though they are not executed. Of course these tasks are helped by their relationship with the third of the Big Three, the triffids.

The Mi-go currently maintain a cordial relationship with the Triffid Hearts, no doubt helped by their more proactive measures against the Mycus, as well as by their own political abilities. As with many political things, the details available to those who are non-Mi-go are few, but so far it appears that the Mi-go are both receiving definite scientific aid in anti-Mycal measures from the Hearts, as well as significant resource trading. Whether the Mi-go will just become the latest to fall in a long line of triffid “allies” is still yet to be seen, but the partnership between the two has already lasted much longer than the next longest one, and shows no sign of stopping at the current date. One shudders to think of the amalgamation that could be created between Mi-go genetic science and Triffid harmonic control.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for Mi-go lore are “bioengineering”, “ingenuity”, “civilization”, and “pride”. An important aspect of their lore is that though they may be prideful of what they have done and can do simply because it is “Mi-go”, they are not above seeing the value of things just because they are not. While they might not see the value of machinery, they are thus still able to see the value of the purpose it serves, and to adapt their own biological designs to perform the same purpose. And while they may be proud and haughty, and look upon themselves as “better”, they are not cruel, and the lack of mercy in their justice falls on all, Mi-go and non-Mi-go alike.


The Shadows have some of the most mysterious forms, and seem to be formed out of a variety of living “shadows”. Their exact forms are hard to describe, as they almost seem to meld almost with the darkness that they live in, and bringing them out into brighter sunlight simply causes them to melt away instead of granting a better look.

Shadows seem to appear or disappear without warning, and without any good explanations for how they do so. Other than their limitations in handling natural light sources, the Shadows seem to have little regard for where and when they appear.

Similarly shadow controlled areas suffer no real visible progression, other than the overall increase in shadow monster activity as the area becomes more strongly affiliated to them. They do suffer a strange effect as areas that are extremely infested seem ot begin to resist all forms of light altogether, and even forms of artifical light such as flashlights and night vision begin to become weaker and the darker areas seem to become darker.

Like much about them, both the ultimate and short term goals of the Shadows are unknown. They appear to concentrate in specific areas and around certain objects, but beyond that no real knowledge about what they are doing here is known, or if the Shadows are even intelligent enough to have goals. Regardless, it seems that the areas that are covered in shadows do not always seem conducive to human life, so a world dominated by the shadows does not seem like one that would be a particularly good one for humans to live in.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
None, as of now. The Shadows have shown no real interests in communicating with humanity as a whole, nor particular interests in what we are doing. Reports from those who wandered into areas with dense Shadow populations seem conflicted, ranging from reports of the Shadows trying to “help” them to attempts at fending off an endless supply of various monsters.

Interactions with the Player:
Due to much of the motives behind the Shadows being unknown, or expressing itself in different ways, there are little options for interaction with the Player. And unless the player actively runs into one of the objects or areas where the Shadows have congregated in great numbers, their seems little reason for why they would interact. That said should the player encounter such an area or object, interaction options abound, ranging from visiting the player with nightmares to granting them special gifts. Their motives are unknown, and that unknowing should dominate any such interactions they have with the player.

Interactions with other factions:
The Shadows are just as much of a mystery to the Nether factions as they are to humanity, and the current hypothesis is that the Shadows came from another hidden “valley” in the 4th dimension that was only opened in the process of allowing easier access between the Nether dimensions and our own. As such their interactions with the Nether denizens are just as mysterious as those with humanity, or even more so in some cases.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for Shadow lore are “hidden”, “unknown”, “mystery”, and “darkness”. They are the unknown thing moving out in the darkness, that which the player can never completely understand or banish regardless of how much they know. And while that dark shape may just turn out to be the trees moving in the wind, it may also resolve to be something much more sinister. Dark things for dark places, after all.

Miscellaneous Groups:

Humans, duh. They’ve got some snazzy bionic technology, and their interactions with the blob are leading to a few heavily mutated examples, but at their heart they’re still the same groups of people that broke the world in the first place.

Post-Cataclysm society is much more factionalized than prior. The Cataclysm brought change with it, some good, and some bad, and groups are forming. Some see this as an opportunity to rebuild the world in their own designs, others wish to revive the old, and some care not for either, looking only after themselves. Those mutated by the spread of the blob and the stress of the Cataclysm are becoming more common as well, forming groups that take on traits and mindsets of the beasts of the world. All anybody knows is that the old government abandoned them to die, and its few remaining supporters are greatly outnumbered by the current number of detractors.

More of a “reverse spread” than a “spread”, humanity was here first, and now we’re being pushed back. That said they might be able to redirect refugees to a localized center, allowing for the construction of some rather basic faction towns or villages. With a little work they might eventually even see some basic forms of an electrical grid going up, but humanity’s hey-day is little but a long-gone dream now.

As a faction gains more control over a given location, they could reneable and tap into more of the old resources in the area, such as power or basic computer systems. Beyond this the only visible progression of a more strongly human affilitated area is an increase in the size of the faction towns and the population of said towns.

Humanity’s ideal wish would be for this all to just be a dream, and everything will be alright when they wake up. That is all that that is though, an unrealistic wish. For now a much more pressing goal is simple survival and all that it entails, with only the most secure having any time to spare for thoughts of what tomorrow will bring. And as for a world dominated by humans? Forget it. Humans broke this world rather badly, and it’s not going to go back to being just theirs anytime soon.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
Well, all of them, they are “humanity”, after all.

Interactions with the Player:
Factions offer the player one of the main places that they can interact with other humans and gain quests to perform. A player might obtain a quest from one faction to help them establish a new base, or to harness a specific nearby resource for the faction’s use. Players should be able to trade and set up shop in faction villages should they desire to do so, or work as a mercenary to help fend off or eradicate the ever present dangers of the new world. Given enough time the player should eventually be able to rise to a position of power within a faction, allowing them to direct overall faction decisions and act on a somewhat broader scale.

Alternatively the player may decide to go another route, becoming one of the bandits that prey on the weak. This is a world of survival after all, and if they really wanted to keep all of that food and weapons then they should have defended them better, right? With enough work the player may even manage to become the leader of an entire bandit army, roaming the world, taking what they want, and burning the rest.

Of course, with the changing world comes changing prejudices, and mutations and bionics have given whole new ways to draw racial boundaries. The player might encounter a group of mutants who only accept those who are similar to them, or a faction which has decided that bionic research was the real cause of the Cataclysm, and kills all who use them that they can find. Other groups may be more accepting, welcoming all that are willing to join them, and attempting to aid those that are unwilling to.

Interactions with other factions:
Humanity is already being offered interactions with a variety of different factions, some that seek to destroy them, some that seek to dominate them, and some that seek them as willing agents of their own. Combined with humanity’s individualistic nature, this has led to some groups accepting certain overtures, while others simply reject all of the “alien monsters” out of hand. There are groups that have joined in the bliss of the Mycus, others that have fallen prey to the will of the triffid Hearts, others that seek the security of the Mi-go, and still others that rally solely for the cry of “Humans for Humans!”.

Yet with the variety of forces unleashed upon the world that humanity used to know, a number of delicate balances are starting to emerge. Who knows, maybe with the right pushes in the right places humanity might just be able to act as the kingmaker for this world after all…

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for human lore are “fractures”, “choice”, “rebuilding”, and “survival”. Humanity is searching for hope about the future, and what they find they intend to keep. Those humans left are the ones that survived nuclear explosions, killer robots, fire, riots, and their very friends and family coming back from the grave to try and kill them. Whether it was spirituality or determination, helpfulness or preying on the lesser, preparation or luck that got them this far, the important thing is that they made it this far. These are the survivors of the human race, and by wit, perseverance, and sheer doggedness they are damn well not going to let something like the continuing end of the world stop them now.


Horrors take on a vast variety of forms, and in truth do not have any real defining forms to their faction at all. Instead the term “Horror” has come to be a catch-all term for all mysterious creatures that existed in rare, localized areas prior to the Cataclysm, and maintain those areas after the actual event. Regardless of what form they may take, Horrors are often much more powerful than other creatures and highly dangerous to those who come into their power, be they human or denizen. This is, however, often limited by their small range, and Horrors are often tied to a single location or object, such as how the Amigara Horrors are tied directly to the Amigara fault.

Horrors do not spread, except for in very rare cases related to their artifacts. In fact in the vast majority of cases Horrors are totally contained, and as long as others stay beyond the boundaries that they set they will totally ignore them.

Horror areas usually begin very strongly affilitated with their group, and never really progress beyond their starting situations.

For the most part Horrors do not have any real goals other than holding on to the areas that they have claimed as theirs, often through the total annihilation of anything that dares to cross their established borders. And while there are certainly a small number of Horrors that would love nothing more than to break free of their limits and roam the entire face of the globe, those that are are held back by forces well beyond their power, restricting them to nothing more than scrabbling at the walls that bind them.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
Basically none. Horrors might slaughter any humans that are unlucky enough to wander into their areas, but beyond that they care little for the space beyond their realms.

Interactions with the Player:
Like the rest of humanity, Horrors will only interact with the player should the player attempt to enter their realm, with the most common response being an attempt to kill said player. Their are several modifications on this idea, though. One example may be a number of more subtle Horrors linked to a powerful artifact. Should the player remove the artifact then the Horrors will begin to haunt them, building up to a crescendo as the player moves farther from the artifact’s normal resting place. Or maybe the player disturbs a nest of Horrors in one of their explorations, and is forced into a race to seal the source before they are able to spread too far across the surrounding area.

Alternatively interactions with Horrors may be multi-ended, in that they involve the player handling the interactions between Horrors and another faction. For example maybe a human faction has unknowingly placed their new village location in an area located on top of a Horror-occupied cave. The player could end up interacting with the Horrors below in an attempt to discover the exact cause of the village’s problems, or to perhaps attempt to recover a missing person from the caves below.

Interactions with other factions:
Like with humanity, the Horrors have basically no interactions with other factions unless they should happen to cross the Horrors’ claimed areas. Their methods of resisting the larger encroaching factions are many, but in most cases Horrors will be able to at least hold on to the areas they control through use of unlimited number, extreme power, or other similar aspects, so there is no real chance of them, say, becoming part of the Mycus or being dominated by a triffid Heart. In an absolute worst case a large Nether player might be able to (at great expense) destroy a Horror or group of Horrors, but the chance of them (or the player) harnessing them for their own purposes is effectively zero.

The Cultists

The cultists are mainly human, but they also have a large variety of more monstrous members as well. Formed through long years of unholy pairings between human, Horror, and the odd Nether denizen that managed to make its way into their world, the cultists mix and bend the rules of all three factions. This can result in creatures that can be as powerful as the Horrors, as versatile as the humans, and as fluid as the denizens, all without any of the major drawbacks that limit each, though it also results in creatures are as fragile as humans, with strange survival requirements of the denizens, and the artificial limitations on their power of the Horrors.

The cultists mainly remain in the locations that they already occupied prior to the Cataclysm. As a subset of humanity their spreading remains much more similar to rebuilding than an actual spreading, though as the cultists they are much more likely to view the Cataclysm as their chance to finally reach out to the dark creatures that they have worshiped silently for decades.

For cultist progression it’s possible, though unlikely, that the rare group of cultists may gain enough power over a normal human faction town to take control of it. Such a town would appear nearly identical to any other faction town that the player makes contact with, but dark things lurk in the shadows at night that all of the locals swear are just tricks of the traveler’s mind, and strange rituals seem to be going on in underground rooms and back alleys.

The main goals of the cultists are to finally come into contact with the dark creatures that they have worshiped throughout the years. Sadly for them, their view of what these creatures actually are has been warped by the simple aspects of time and lack of true contact, resulting in views of the reality that only match in the absolute most tertiary characteristics. Their faith has remained unshaken, however, and they are convinced that they can hold onto their dark ways until such a time that the “true” creatures they worship should reveal themselves.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
None really. The cultists have always been, and will most likely forever remain, a dark and shadowy faction, always hiding their true interactions from the remainder of humanity behind the facade of being simply “normal”.

Interactions with the Player:
The player wandering into a town with a “dark secret”? Beyond stumbling into their areas, be they towns or lone hidden cabins, there isn’t much reason why the players and the cultists would choose to interact. Cultist membership tends to be handed down in families, so the player isn’t likely to be receiving any secret cult quests anytime soon. As a result most interactions between the player and the cultists are likely to come about as a result of interactions between normal humanity and cultist groups. For example the player finds a town with a number of normal people and a number who seem rather odd, though still fairly nice; until one-by-one the normal people start disappearing…

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for cultist lore are “secret”, “ancient”, “crossbred”, and “monstrous”. They are the hidden hand that holds the dagger, the clock worker who winds the hands of fate, and the puppeteer that pulls the strings upon which countries and great men dance. These heathen Nether creatures may bear some resemblance to their gods, but they are not them, and it’s up to them to keep the faith and traditions handed down by their forefathers until such time when the true gods return to this world. Then those who stand against them will be punished, and they shall be raised on high with the other followers of the true gods.

Sewer Mutants

Mutants are a group of creatures and humans that were already beginning to adapt to the polluted underground areas that they live in, and were warped even further by the effects of the blob as it entered their systems. They come in a wide variety of forms, but share a common factor of more troglodyte-esque forms.

Mutants don’t suffer any real spread or progression as time passes. It’s possible for them to assemble in large enough amounts to possibly claim an area of the sewers as their own, but beyond that they are realtively content to remain in the sewers, only attacking those who enter or live near the borders of their domain. This is compounded by the more animalistic natures of many sewer mutants, preventing them from forming any sort of organized effort at claiming space.

Due to their lower intelligence and more beastly natures, mutants have little goals beyond survival and territorialism. Many sewer mutants can be very agressive if disturbed, however, so their lack of overall goals does not necessarily make them any less dangerous.

Interactions with humanity as a whole:
None. Sewer mutants have, and will always remain, a more fringe-worthy faction. At absolute most a budding troglodyte mutant colony attempting to take refuge underground may come into conflict with them, but in general their actions carry no more importance than those of any other group of wild animals.

Interactions with the Player:
Sewer mutants will only interact with the player should the player venture into the sewers, or is lurking about near manhole covers or opened waste plants at nighttime, in which case the player is in danger of being attacked by them.

Key Ideas:
The key ideas for sewer mutant lore are “beastly”, “troglodyte”, “darkness”, and “lurking”. They are the big cats of the troglodyte world, dangerous if disturbed or you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and something that you should always have an eye out for while wandering through their territory (though how effective such a lookout will be is debatable).

Next is the “where” of the Cataclysm.

The game and lore of the story mainly takes place slightly into the future in the New England area of the United States of America. This is the main epicenter of both the portal surge and portal appearances that formed the main bulk of the Cataclysm, and it is also the location where the player starts. However it is believed that many other places around the world are also suffering some effects of the Cataclysm, such as the dead rising, Nether denizens appearing, and portals opening, but it’s believed to be slightly less intense, albeit never completely gone.

The Nether

“The Nether” is the collective name for a variety of different “planes” that require only an extremely small amount of energy to transpose between them, so little, in fact, that of the many different lifeforms that live there (termed “denizens”) a handful have even developed natural ways to cross planar boundaries. The ease of intermixing, combined with that nearly unlimited variety of worlds contained within the Nether planar group, has led to an enourmous variety of life that lives under a nearly infinite amount of climates and habitats. Regardless of what sort of conditions you may imagine, there is gauranteed to be at least one type of denizen that would love and thrive under them, and there may even be several.

This variety has worked somewhat in the favor of humans though, and is responsible for the vast dying off of Nether denizens after the initial portal surge due to the majority of denizens simply being unable to survive on the planet Earth as it currently is. Of course their portals usually still “leak” enough into the surrounding area to allow them access to things relatively close, but it has prevented the majority of them from spreading to the Earth as a whole.

4th dimensional topography

Important Note: Whenever Cataclysm:DDA lore speaks about the “4th dimension” they are referring to 4 spatial dimensions (X, Y, Z, and W), not three spatial dimensions and a fourth temporal dimension (X, Y, Z, and time).

The easiest way to imagine the differences in the energy required to transition over the 4th dimension is to imagine a place where a mountain range meets a vast plain. The vast plain represents the Nether areas, where it takes relatively little energy to step from one area to another. On the other hand the Earth would be much akin to a hidden valley on the edge of the mountains with a tiny, jagged pass leading out. As such it’s a difficult trip in or out from Earth, requiring a significant amount of energy to make the change, but once you’ve made that investment it’s an easy downhill slope to anywhere you want to go.

As mankind worked the path back and forth, they attracted the attention of some of the larger Nether denizen groups. This led to the portal surge, and the resulting push from the Nether side and subsequent bombing from ours was not akin to performing blasting work on our hypothetical jagged pass. Where once was a jagged, rough-hewn and barely worn path, there was now a wide and gentle road, albeit still with a few bumps. This then attracted the attention of a variety of different Nether groups, as it essentially acts as a “high ground” for dimensional travel, one that allows for strategical actions that would not have been possible before. This was combined with the potential “opening” of what could most effectively be termed “caves” in dimensional topography, such as the place where the Shadows come from; an area which previously had no ability to contact in or out of its own tiny group of dimensional areas.

And lastly some other stuff:
Miscelaneous lore bites

Flaming Eyes - They are actually larger creatures than what is visible, with much of their body just shifted “sideways” in the 4th dimension. When a flaming eye is “staring” at you for strange effects, what it’s actually doing is reaching out and touching you with the rest of its body.

Zombie Masters - They influence the intelligence of nearby zombies, working as a local processing power much in the same way that the brain blob is able to organize and co-ordinate blob monsters. The Zombie Necromancers have a similar effect as well, albeit at a much lesser degree.

Rat King - An interesting case interaction with a blob infection. Their behavior is not a typical reaction of smaller creatures, which usually either are too small for the blob symbiosis to have any effect, or are enlarged to giant sizes, and as such are rather rare.

Triffid “Queens” - TTheir name simply refers to their size, and they do not birth additional triffid creatures or act in any type of leadership position (both of which are handled, indirectly or directly, by the Triffid Heart). Instead these creatures are more similar to giant living bulldozers, and are responsible for destroying whatever landscape previously existed in an area prior to other triffids shaping it to the whims of the Heart.

Non Cataclysm lore

Deep Space Travel - The world of the pre-Cataclysm USA has maintained their ability to perform Earth orbit spacetravel, especially in dealing with low Earth orbits. However they have yet to reach any serious colonization of other celestial bodies or long distance space travel to the self-supporting extent, thus preventing the formation of any safe havens from the Cataclysm that such a colonization would create.

Long Range Teleportation - Long range focused teleportation is simply not possible in the vast majority of cases due to the increasing inaccuracy in location based on the distance you want to travel. There are a handful of natural locations where this is an exception, and the US took advantage of at least one of these (a location in deep space) to build their “Fortress of Solitude”. However in general transport over long distances between spots in the same dimensional area is simply not possible.

Time Travel or “Grand Reset Buttons” - The Cataclysm happened and it’s here to stay. There’s not going to be any time travel back to before it started, or giant big red buttons to push and undo everything. Even the idea of recreating the world of the past is a fragile one, and progression towards such a world is most likely to be stopped well short of anything that would approach the world before the Cataclysm.

Aliens - They don’t exist, or at least not ones from our dimensional area. That said with the variety of Nether denizens in existence it wouldn’t be too surprising to find out that at least some of our alien rumors are actually traces of the rare Nether denizen that stumbled into our realm, much in the way the foundation for a majority of cultist legends are formed.

Psionics - The human brain doesn’t have any special powers, nor is it going to gain any. Note that this boundary is largely confined to the human brain; Nether creatures and Horrors may have powers that appear similar to psionics (though many are not actually a psionic action, but are simply something that appears similar), and through artifacts a player may be able to tap into powers that can appear to duplicate some of the more commonly discussed psionic powers. Yet the player can never obtain such powers for themselves directly, regardless of how many mutations or alterations they accumulate.


References are fun things, and consistute one of the more fun sides of the game Cataclysm:DDA. However it is important to remember that in many of the more outlandish cases, their lore may not technically align with all of the Cataclysm lore outlined here. For example the “Granade”, while a very fun item to find, does not imply that the pre-Cataclysm USA had the ability to warp reality at will with pseudo-explosives. Nor doe the presence of the Thriller imply that secretly all zombies would be much happier dancing than trying to kill you. Yet in both of these cases finding them is a fun opportunity for the player to laugh, and they were both certainly fun for the developer that included them to write. So if you encounter such a rare object that clashes with a bit of the lore here, just repeat to yourself the magic words “It’s just a game, I should really just relax”.

On the other hand it’s important to note that over time some references can grow to become an actual part of the game, at which point they should be examined for ways to make the rules of the lore apply more consistently to them. For example many of the original zombies started out as references to Left 4 Dead, but now have the basic Cataclysm rules applied to them. Similarly the Mi-go and the Horrors both started out as references to the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Junji Ito respectively, but have now bloomed into their own factions in the world of the Cataclysm, and as a result, now attempt to fit somewhat more closely with the rest of the lore than they did when they were just one-off references.

The Grand Right of Retcon
As mentioned at the very start of this whole thing, as developers we reserve the right to retcon things from the past if we decide that they no longer fit with the lore, or if something else would simply be cooler. This is a natural progression, and is how lore develops and grows over time to constantly reach for new and exciting ideas, or justifies the inclusion of amazing features for players to enjoy. The web of the lore is not spun from glass, inflexible and brittle, but wove of rubber, able to stretch and shift as changes demand. And while there may be an eventual limit to how far the lore can stretch, like rubber that distance is often much farther than it would appear at first glance.

It’s also important to remember that, ultimately, the end goal of the lore is to make playing the game more enjoyable, and to make it easier to build further things to expand the world of the Cataclysm. Yet this is not necessarily a reason to justify the removal or addition of lore simply because a portion of the playerbase agrees or disagrees with it, as any developer will know, “any change will break someone’s workflow” and “you can never please everyone”. Thus new additions and changes to the lore should be considered both as a stand-alone and how their new thread will weave into the grand tapestry of the rest of the lore.

So don’t be afraid to suggest things, even if they seem like they would contradict things stated here! Hard work and Ideas are the two lifebloods of any open source project, and we developers can’t supply everything by ourselves. Many a glorious idea or change has been born through discussion between fans and developers, and the absolute worst you can be told in response to an idea is that we don’t think it fits well.

Feeling somewhat overwhelmed by everything you’ve read here? That’s good, and it’s what you should be feeling, knowing what you know now. For we are as the Aztec finding strange white men washed up on their shores, riding exotic monsters and with powerful weapons and tools; not knowing that they are but the merest shadow of an empire larger than their entire universe. Times have changed and the peaceful pre-Cataclysm world of humanity’s youth is gone, never to return to this planet. Truly, there are only Dark Days Ahead.

I don’t like that approach. Results in a lot of “but why aren’t we seeing 99% of that?”, especially considering almost all the factions listed are supposed to be more or less sentient.

Skimmed the text, and found few inconsistencies with the game:

[ul][li]Mi-gos always kill humans now, as evidenced by them being surrounded by corpses, not stopping the assault etc.[/li]
[li]Copbots no longer attack shackled players.[/li]
[li]Lax gun laws vs. armored gun shops. Armored gun shops are good for gameplay reasons (and explaining why they weren’t robbed yet), but imply stricter gun laws than what most states have IRL.[/li][/ul]

Some suggestions/issues:

[ul][li]Having the New England be both the game location and the epicenter robs us of the possibility of having a “high level zone” and poses a question of why are there no humans coming from outside. Shifting the epicenter to some other place and saying “it’s even worse there” would explain why don’t we see any help or army around here.[/li]
[li]The tone of lore is much darker than the game itself. In-game zombies and aliens are often just nuisances rather than horrors and a well equipped survivor smacks them about without breaking a sweat. Is this discrepancy intended? If not, what should be changed more - the lore or the game?[/li]
[li]The list doesn’t mention zombies much. While they’re technically a part of the blob, they’re different from the “core” blob. And arguably more important than all the other alien factions combined, including the blob itself.[/li][/ul]

Rest looks good.

I’m not sure armored gun stores contradict lax gun laws, guns are very expensive and desire able to criminals no matter how legal they are to own, so you armor up.
Re: timeline, the main things that stand out as missing are details about zombification and why the military and govt in particular were wiped out (middle govt of course, the upper echelons survived in exile). You vaguely imply that something went after them after certain orders were given, but don’t go into it. This raises the question of whether any subprime entities were able to do any infiltration or even understand humanity enough to target specific people.
I like coolthulu’s idea of the epicenter being elsewhere, there shouldn’t really be anything special about new england, it’s just where the player happens to start.
The acid rain thing is problematic for the same reason we pulled it already, if that had happened all the animals would be dead too.

Moving the epicenter is easy enough, the “New England” focus was an old bit of lore anyways. Any particular ideas about a location? Or just imply that things seem worse elsewhere?

Acid rain stuff is fairly old to and easy enough to blot out.

I don’t like that approach. Results in a lot of “but why aren’t we seeing 99% of that?”, especially considering almost all the factions listed are supposed to be more or less sentient.[/quote]
Honestly this stuff is all just waiting on two things, Hordes 2.0 and the ability for the map itself to evolve over time (which now that it looks like some of the more serious Z-level changes are dying down I might take a crack at). The vast majority of this stuff is otherwise in the “drop everything and work on it instead” section of my personal to-do list, it’s just waiting on those two things to go in (and some of it on the ability for different groups to hold territory).

Mi-gos always kill humans now, as evidenced by them being surrounded by corpses, not stopping the assault etc.
I kinda implied that the current wave is pretty much saboteurs and scouts as my reasoning for that, not sure if it came across quite like I intended. The Mi-go is kinda the farthest from the lore outline because their approach tends to be "only single Mi-go until the sudden wave of forces".
Copbots no longer attack shackled players.
I was unaware that we had fixed that ([url=https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/issues/9171]#9171[/url] is still open). I can do a quick rewrite pretty easily on that note if that's what we want.
Lax gun laws vs. armored gun shops. Armored gun shops are good for gameplay reasons (and explaining why they weren't robbed yet), but imply stricter gun laws than what most states have IRL.
As a person who lives in what is currently the most lenient state on gun control (Arizona), I can assure you that just because the laws are lenient doesn't mean that armoring doesn't happen. Half of the guns stores you find around here could practically double as military bunkers in the event of a foreign attack. :P
The tone of lore is much darker than the game itself. In-game zombies and aliens are often just nuisances rather than horrors and a well equipped survivor smacks them about without breaking a sweat. Is this discrepancy intended? If not, what should be changed more - the lore or the game?
Personally I'm a big lover of the darker tone. I mean wacky things are fine, but personally I've always viewed the "late game the player can take on thousands of zombies at once and win" type thing more of as a balancing issue than an intended result. I mean in reality it doesn't really matter how prepared I am, I shouldn't be able to slaughter the zombified entire population of a nearby city without breaking a sweat. And the idea that you, alone as a single human, even stand a hope against things that have empires measured in [i]planets[/i]? That's kinda ridiculous IMO.
The list doesn't mention zombies much. While they're technically a part of the blob, they're different from the "core" blob. And arguably more important than all the other alien factions combined, including the blob itself.
Easy enough to address. I'll look into it.

Given the expanded lore you give to the blob, I feel like it’s going to want to farm something for symbosis, otherwise does it have an end-game for its presence on a given planet? It seems likely that other than a “growth medium” it’s entirely self-sufficient, so in a general way it’s going to want to spread and maintain its hold on as much growth medium as possible. Reproducing zombies?
With that in mind, it would be nice for there to be some rationale, even an internal one, for why blob pits form, because it seems like it would want them everywhere, so why doesn’t it?
A simple solution would be if they formed around and sustained portals.

i think the whole point was that this was a goal to work towards, not that the game is arleady based off this lore, imagine a game with all the stuff that cdda has now but multiple worlds with multiple different landscapes and goals

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