The year is 1934. Franklin D. Roosevelt is president, Flash Gordon has recently been published, and Bran Flakes remain America's favorite breakfast cereal. The Great Depression has sent scores of the unemployed travelling across the country to small towns in search of work, filling factories and farms with all sorts of drifters, from former stockbrokers to former bootleggers. In one such town in Pennsylvania, a strain of rabies has mutated into a virus that robs men of their humanity. This virus is known as "The Red Plague", named for the red sclera of the infected caused by internal hemorrhaging, and for its believed bloodborne spread. Our story follows a group of farmhands from Sweetwater's Tackett Farmstead, and those they encounter.
Our story takes place in the town of Sweetwater, Pennsylvania. Sweetwater is a quiet village with few tourist traps or frivolities; Aside from homes, the town has a few general stores, federal buildings, a school, several family-owned shops and a large, dried out lake for which the town is named. It is surrounded on all sides by scrubs of dense forests, craggy hills, and seemingly unending pine trees. One paved road to the highway takes travelers to Lancaster which is 30 miles south, all but abandoned. Sweetwater is very much the middle of nowhere. The Tackett Farmstead is about 5 miles from the town of Sweetwater -- though it remains in Sweetwater county -- separated by an exit off the highway and a long, twisted dirt road. Though it was originally a family ranch that was only self-sustaining, Farmer Tackett has spent the last thirty years making it into a profitable business, to the point that he has some fifty-odd men under his heel during the worst economic collapse in American history.
The farmhouse is a three story colonial house, painted white with blue shingles and shutters, encased in a porch that wraps around the building. The Farmer lives here with his wife and children, as well as a handful of women who live in a bunkhouse in the attic, who do the cooking and cleaning in the farmhouse. Being a wealthy man with a wife and two daughters, a basement full of liquor and an attic full of female workers, the farmer has a strict policy about farmhands entering the farmhouse -- Any man who does is either fired or shot on the spot, depending on their perceived intentions. The farm itself is 30 acres, surrounded on all sides by trees, though there is a buffer of waist-high grass between the farmland and the untamed brush, along with a stone fence wrapping around the farmer's property line. There is a small pig barn with ten pigs, a goat barn with four goats, and a chicken coop with roughly sixty chickens that mostly roam around the farmstead, coming back to roost in the night. There are two horses in the colored barn's stable, named Sammy and Sugar, although they are rarely taken out. Though the farm keeps animals, they are mostly consumed by The Tacketts or sold at county fairs -- Nearly all of the money made by the farm is through agriculture. The farm has a large cornfield, as well as five gardens and a small cluster of beehives used for honey. The men of the farmstead live in two racially segregated barns, though there is a degree of intermingling and fraternization between the two. The white barn is painted as its namesake implies, with a leaky tin roof and a red barnstar. The colored barn, standing opposite to its counterpart, is red with a black shingled roof, and stable on the ground floor for the farm's two horses.
Rhabdoviridae Hematemesis, colloquially known as "The Red Plague", is a highly mutated, hyperaggresive strain of rabies. The first cases being deer, the beginning of the outbreak started with reports of extremely aggressive stags charging at hunters. The virus enters the circulatory system and is quick to manifest itself into the victim, causing symptoms within minutes and full infiltration within an hour. As the virus infiltrates the host, they experience a spasmodic effect, Shaking the outer extremities in a rapid manner. Following that, seizures and frothing of the mouth will occur as symptoms progress, while infected blood is continually gibbered out of the due to internal hemorrhaging. The last stage is known as "turning", wherein a victim's eyes turn red shortly before suffering a stroke. After victims regain consciousness, they retain only a minimal amount of brain use, and have about the same mental capacity as a chimpanzee.
The Red Plague causes its hosts to permanently enter a primal state of murderous rage with a biological imperative to spread the infection or kill the uninfected and consume their flesh above all else. The infected are reduced to an animalistic state of permanent hostility and aggression, driving them to attack non-infected with no concern for their own safety and no moral inhibitions that could control their actions and behavior. The infected retain the ability to use primitive tools such as sticks and rocks, and can conceptualize simple plans if given enough time. In addition, adrenaline is constantly being produced and utilized by the infected body, as even days after the change, an infected specimen can perform display extraordinary feats of strength, agility, endurance (especially in pursuit of the uninfected), and ignore wounds such as stabbing, explosive amputation of limbs and even immolation. While the infected will attempt to bite their victims, it is usually as a means of either infecting or killing them, often by biting into the main arteries in their neck. The infected do not consume each other, and can recognize (and will readily eat) any and all edible food from canned goods to wild animals. Since infected specimens are still living human beings, they can be killed using means that are fatal to uninfected, though they will ignore any wounds that are not immediately fatal such as decapitation or destruction of the brain.
• I like roleplays with trait systems. Are there any trait systems here?
Oddly specific question, disembodied voice. Yes!
• You refer to the farmhands as "The men" a lot. Can I play a chick?
Yes! The farmhands are all male, but the farmhouse workers are all female. The reasons for the segregation are that the farmer is really into Jesus and he really doesn't want his workers getting pregnant. Anyway, for those of you who want to play as a girl, you can play a farmhouse worker or a female member of the Tackett family.
• Will this RP improve the quality of my life, help me find friends, cure my impotency, and help me accomplish my goals?
Yes! Joining this RP will do all of those things.