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1991. Against all odds, the world remains standing.

In 1898, Sir Ingel Langley accidentally uncovered the secret to the mysterious compound which littered the Earth. Coined Langium, the subsequent Langley-Milentroff Process was a means by which colossal amounts of energy could be harvested. His discovery changed the course of history, Langium-powered factories and power plants propelling the world into a bewildering age of technological and social advancement. Far more efficient than coal, oil, wind, or water, Langium gasification turned virtually any product into electricity, and jettisoned the world into an era of advancement. For a time, the progress seemed limitless. Langium dominated the global scene.

Then on a fateful day in 1961, the world stood still.

For only a few brief moments, They came.

They came unannounced, unceremoniously. Without warning nor hesitation, as if the world was Theirs to own. They came, stopped for only a short while, never once bothering for contact nor communication, and departed. In Their wake remained the lasting trace of Their existence, undeniable proof of a secret to shock the world to its core. Their visit confirmed a suspicion once thought to be the stuff of dreams: That Langium was of otherworldly origin.

They came and left, yet it was not in their momentary picnic which astounded the world. As with every vacation, the visitors left remarkable trace of their visit. As they departed, mysterious reports spread like a pox dots across the skin. Otherworldly materials reacted with Langium deposits, infecting machinery and nature alike with its eldritch influence. Incredible materials - dubbed New-Langium Compounds, or NLC's - were introduced to the globe...with drastic effects. In the wake of their reactions, hazardous anomalies spread throughout the world's zones in contact with Langium and NLC's, often without rhyme nor discrimination. Some places had gravity cease to be, its industries turning to colossal floating complexes that drift like schools of fish amidst the sea. In some places, rivers turned to a gaseous plasma, the waters which once ran freely convulsing like mist dripping along a sieve. Mysterious sea-green webs turned the hands of those who touched it into pure calcified bone. Metal molted to blistering temperature, yet always retaining their solid shape and form while their extraneous heat warped the world to a hellscape. Rusted iron bolts cured blindness to whoever touched it. These are but a few of the many effects the anomalies have had upon the world.

Yet, within the world's anomalous zones, mysterious compounds and otherworldly items were discovered, with miraculously potent effects. Dubbed artifacts, these precious things produced medicines and machines once thought impossible to create by modern science, yet within the zones they were found and thrive. Yet, even as these incredible artifacts took to the world by storm, it was quickly discovered that we lacked the understanding and capability to reproduce any of these things on Earth.

The shock of the Visitation was enormous, to say little of its full effects. In almost an instant, the Old Order of the world had the rug yanked from beneath its feet. The Old Order of Gods and World were stripped away, revealing truths of a universe far more alien than perhaps any could have known. Many governments struggled to maintain themselves in the chaos, and the Legacy of the Visitation has touched the world far greater than any war nor invention.

Yet, as the Old World gave Caesarean birth to the New World, the greatest legacy of The Visitation lay right above our heads.

It is faint, always visible, yet always distant. Its presence leaves a chilling radiance, a feeling apropos the soft, chilling light of a winter's full moon, equally brilliant in both its coolness and its luminescence. It hovers over the world, softly pulsating its alien light throughout the sky like the heartbeat of a lighthouse.

It is the
New Earth Oracle, and it gazes upon the world as The Gods look down from Heaven.

It is infallible proof that we are not alone in the universe, that They exist and have knowledge which far surpasses our own.

And, perhaps if we wish to undo the calamitous effects of the Visitation and NLC's, the Oracle will have the answers we so desperately seek. Yet, if humanity wishes to leave its cradle, then of course, it would do well to ensure the cradle is without splinter nor rot, for even the tiniest splinter may give rise to the gravest of infections. There are plenty on Earth who wish to upturn the Visitation; Those who demand that humanity shut itself in, and those who suggest it be dragged kicking and screaming into a new era, by any means necessary.

In the year 1991, the course lie ahead, tenuous and arduous. To uncover the true nature of Langium and The Visitation, nations must combat threats both within, without, and beyond. The issues of the Old World have never gone away, and the troubles of the New World will push even the strongest to their limits. Terrorism, economic hardship, environmental disaster, and more plague the world. Yet as we all know, in every crisis lay opportunity, and in such infinite wisdom there is equal capacity to emerge with the advancement of all humankind.



F.A.Q.


  • "'Vinto-Futurism?' What's that supposed to mean?"

"Vinto-Futurism" is a term I coined a little while ago when coming up with the best concept pitch for the setting of N.E.O.'s world. To break it down:

Vinto / Vintage -> "Classic in style, typically denoted to be at least 20 years of age."
Futuristic -> "(of a film or book) set in the future, typically in a world of advanced or menacing technology."

Vinto-Futuristic ->
"A stylistic setting based off of what we believed the near future would look like from the perspective of the 1990s and early 2000s."

Think of settings as seen in The Matrix, Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid 4, STALKER, and AKIRA as examples of what a Vinto-Futuristic setting would look like. Space exploration, the military-industrial complex, globe-spanning terrorist organizations, economic upheaval, and an increasingly digitized and sensationalized world are all core themes of a Vinto-Futuristic setting.


  • "What does the technology of N.E.O. look like?"

For most of the world's average people, the technology of the world is reminiscent of that found in our own during the Early Information Age: Cell phones, computers, Personal Digital Assistants (Remember when these were a thing?), early unmanned drones, genetically modified crops, laser surgery, and the like are all features of the technological capacity. Of course, given the more science-fiction induced advancements of Langium in the world of N.E.O., power and energy is far ahead of our own world even now. Langium-based engines and turbines output levels of energy at greater efficiency than we have even now, roughly equatable to low-temperature nuclear fusion. Bio-engineering and biotechnology are also quite advanced, featuring genetic modification as one might see in 90s B-Movies.


  • "What is Langium?"

The world is filled with a resource called Langium, which through what's known as the, "Langley-Milentroff Process", produces amounts of stable energy similar to plasma gasification, yet with energy output similar to the theoretical capacity of nuclear fission. In 1961, the world was shocked by a series of alien visitations which confirmed that what they knew about Langium's capabilities was just the tip of the iceberg for what it could possibly do. Langium can - under the right circumstances and with the correct catalysts - completely reverse or break the laws of physics as we understand them, but it seems that the chemical compounds by which this may occur are both not native to the planet and are seemingly beyond the current ability to reproduce artificially.

This, of course, means that humanity must leave its cradle if it is to unlock the true mysteries of Langium...and, perhaps, find Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.



  • Are there aliens currently on Earth?

No. The Visitation of 1961 was just that; A visit. In the 60s, there weren't really a thing as security cameras on the scale we know of today, and eyewitness accounts tended to not be of much help. This had led to a huge resurgence in urban legends about why extraterrestrials came to Earth and introduced NLC's, but as of right now, everything is pure speculation. Humanity has yet to have direct contact with whoever came to Earth in 1961, but if one thing is certain, it's that they possess knowledge far surpassing our own.


  • What about mutants? Can wildlife be affected by NLC emissions? And people?

Certain NLC's, byproducts, and emissions are reported to have mutagenic properties, though it is currently known that animals are more likely to undergo mutation if their DNA is more closely related to humans. Almost all primates, cows, cats, pigs, and mice are the most commonly reported animals to undergo NLC-induced mutation, though reports of other animals undergoing mutation have been recorded.

Likewise, the current understanding of the mutagenic properties of NLCs on humans is poorly-understood. Some NLC's are known to have medical properties, acting in a fashion similar to a rapidly-induced anabolic steroid with much less harsh side effects. There have been numerous attempts to use NLC products in order to modify human gene sequences, but due to the nebulous nature of NLC's, much of the bioengineering potential of NLC's remain purely theoretical.

The exact nature of NLC-induced mutation is incredibly multi-fold. Neurobiologists often note extreme changes in the frontal lobe and cerebellum of mutated specimens, often radically changing their behavioral processing. In the case of mutants deriving from domesticated animals, the changes are more often than not substantial enough to require behavioral reteaching, as in many cases, the subject undergoes significant neurochemical changes which often induces a trance-like form of limited psychosis. In most animals, skilled trainers have learned that reverting these processes is certainly possible, but making a mutant back into a domestic animal requires a skillset and approach in a completely different field from what is typical for that mutant's regular animal classification.






Discord:


Link is here.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yam I Am
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@Dog @Andreyich @Eldritch Puppy @Ayazi @Keyguyperson @Dr Lovecraft @Katthaj @Principality @Dead Cruiser @MagusTheRed For everyone who expressed interest.

Geez, I wasn't expecting this many people...
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PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
"为人民服务" (Serve the People!)



History
Pre-Visitation
The People's Republic of China rose into power after Chairman Mao Zedong's forces won against the Chinese Nationalist forces, who fled to Taiwan. Chairman Mao proclaimed the founding on 1 October 1949 and then led efforts against the capitalist system, launching land reforms and jumpstarting the industrialization program. Like the Great Leap Forward, campaigns brought change to the country for the better or worse while relations with the Soviet Union improved. Then, the Visitation happened.

Visitation
With fears that the American backed Kuomintang forces would invade the mainland after the Korean War, China was more than prepared to protect its citizens. But, they didn't expect the invader to take place within. And with the problems coming from the Great Leap Forward, China was hit hard with the New-Langium Compound. The first case of the New-Langium Compounds was reported when parts of the Yellow River started to drain, affecting villages and cities that relied on the river. Then, the newly built industrial factories began to break down across the coastline leaving former farmers to starve with a lack of work. And finally, adding insult to injury, the dozens of dead sparrows were reported to have come back to life and attacked people.

Regardless, Chairman Mao vowed that the people's party will triumph before dying, along with several National Congress members after inspecting a piece of Langium infecting the Yellow River. After his death, Hua Guofeng rose into the position and began a series of moderate reforms in response to the Great Leap Forward and the efforts of the New-Langium Compounds. He did his best to contain crisis after crisis before he was outed over his support of maintaining the Maoist line in 1978.

Recent History
Chairman Xue Xuefeng was voted by the National Congress shortly after Chairman Hua was outed. His first action was to deal with the Yellow River crisis by sealing off the infected parts with temporary dams so the Langium could be mined. Then, he led a series of dramatic reforms and campaigns that altered China. One of the most important campaigns, the Sino-Soviet Peoples' Partnership, pushed to reestablish positive relations with the Soviets. And while the United States of America was still dealing with Visitation's effects, China led an invasion into Taiwan after bombardments were resumed in 1982.

Without the backing of NATO and the United States, The Kuomintang surrendered to the Chinese invasion forces after sieging the capital of Taipei. After the peace treaty was signed, the People's Party shifted their focus onto the Korean Peninsula. Chairman Xue met with Kim Il-sung, Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and came to an agreement for annexation to take on the NATO-backed South Korea. And like Taiwan, they lacked foreign military support and caused them to be overwhelmed by Chinese forces.

And when Seoul was taken hours after the invasion began, President Park Chung-hee met up with Chairman Xue and Kim Il-sung to discuss peace. In the end, it was agreed that a United Korea would exist under Chinese protection from foreign capitalist influences. Thus, Na Mi-Kyung was selected by Chairman Xue personally to lead the peninsula towards a better future while the leaders of old vanished from history. With its goals of uniting with the mainland satisfied (for now), China shifted its focus towards its citizens by fulfilling their first promise: fixing the Yellow River.

Pressing Issues
Even know China is better off than where it was in 1963, Chairman Xue still has a lot on his plate. For example, his efforts to improve the literacy and poverty rate only began shortly after Chairman Hua was outed. In addition, the effects of the Great Leap Forward and the Visitation are still impacting the mainland, specifically villages and cities along the Yellow River. The National Congress and Chairman Xue vowed to restore them to their former glory, but both the reunification of Taiwan and the invasion of the Korean Peninsula occupied their focus. It wasn't until recently that their focus shifted back towards its people.

Taiwan, not as hard hit by Langium as the mainland, is still facing unrest for the anti-communist resistance fighters. Terror attacks on Chinese citizens and military forces are a common occurrence despite retaliation with raids of possible hideouts and arrest of suspected conspirators. Meanwhile, in Korea, President Na Mi-Kyung recently petitioned the National Congress to allow foreign companies to operate in her country. The matter is still being debated, with rumors spreading that the trading city of Daegu will be testing grounds for the idea.





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Name: Federative Republic of Brazil/República Federativa do Brasil
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Government: Although technically a semi-democratic federative republic, Brazil is effectively ruled by Apolônia, and minimal dissent exists due to the personality cult surrounding her. It is, however, still a bicameral legislature in which members of the lower house are elected proportionally, while the upper house, the Senate, rarely sees any senators elected that are not approved by the de-facto dictator. Much like the USSR's Supreme Soviet, the Starlight Movement has extremely wide-ranging power that allows it to legally prevent the rise of political opponents to Brazil's President.

Territory: Historical Brazilian Borders


History:

  • Pre-Visitation: Prior to the visitation, Brazil's history was mostly mundane. Like any other nation seeking to industrialize, it too exploited Langium, seeing the wonder-substance as the means through which the aspiring global power could achieve its goals. These efforts, however, remained relatively until the Vargas coup - at which point the dictator began the exploitation of Brazil's available Langium resources en-masse, taking advantage of its wondrous properties to catapult his country into the modern age. Such aspirations, however, continued to remain horribly distance, and in late 1956, Vargas shot himself in the head, having lost control of his most powerful political allies after an assassination attempt on one of the most prominent opponents of Vargas's regime, Carlos Lacerda.

    Juscelino Kubitschek quickly took power, his presidency marked by even greater exploitation of Langium resources, general industrialization, the founding of Brasilia, and the emergence of a nonreligious cult, led by a young woman by the name of Apolônia Conceicao, a philosopher who was able to take advantage of the tumult surrounding Vargas's death to draw followers, despite her being disadvantaged in Brazil as a woman. Of course, considering Brazil's extensively patriarchal, Catholic society, the cult's growth was relatively slow and was often the target of violence, in no small part due to Conceicao's insistence that aliens were in fact real, and had brought Langium to Earth long ago. In many ways, it was simply any other new-age UFO cult, but Conceicao differed in that she prescribed no religious dogma, instead focusing on preparation for the inevitably soon-to-come alien visitors and the trials they would bring.
  • The Visitation: In 1961, to the surprise of nearly everyone, The Starlight Movement (O Movimento da Luz das Estrelas) was abruptly proven right - apparently, at least. Not only did their leader seem to have been a prophet, but religions across the world were thrown into Chaos by the existence of alien life, and Brazilian varieties of Catholicism were no exception. A country that for the most part was culturally shaped by its faith suddenly found itself with far less, and in the Chaos, many turned to the apparent prophet and her message of cooperation toward a bright, new future. People across the world flocked to Conceicao even as she appeared to vanish, vanishing into the now-anomalous parts of the Amazon Rainforest.

    Fortunately for her followers - and unfortunately for the duelling military and civil government factions in the ailing government, Conceicao returned to the public eye little more than a week later, though she had been greatly changed, her body only narrowly recognizable as that of a human. Much like her country, she was scarred, forever changed - but, she claimed, she was far stronger too. For many, she was the only source of direction in a world that had simply stopped making sense, pervasive religious ideals completely upended along with the environmental order of South America. Anomalous zones along the Amazon River and near the Guarani aquifer system meant that vast swathes if Brazil's population were exposed to NLCs, and Conceicao's hometown, Manaus, was one of the worst affected.

    Kubitschek, struggling to deal with the crisis, was quickly removed in a military coup, and as increasing numbers of people began to turn to their apparent prophetess for direction, she was named President in an unexpected landslide victory, narrowly averting civil war in the increasingly disunited, directionless populace mere months after the Visitation.

    The solution, Conceicao argued, was obvious. NLCs and anomalous zones were a fact of life, and it was time for Brazil to take full advantage of them. NLCs could have devastating effects on the human body, but they could make a man something far greater, too, and so the Brazilian government began to pour massive amounts of funding into funding research on the impacts of the visitation and on supporting a populace that struggled to recover from the devastation.

    Thanks to the aid of organizations like the NHC, vast new Langium resources, and large amounts of research funding, Brazil was able to recover from the impacts of the Visitation and eventually begin to thrive. A rapidly expanded healthcare system, likewise, drastically improved quality of life, serving to help draw large numbers of immigrants to a country that had adapted to the visitation with relative ease and found itself in increasing need of workers to fuel its growth. Perhaps most important, though, was the philosophy Conceicao was drilling into Brazilian society - one of cooperation and togetherness and of bringing mankind into a new, better age. Eventually, mutation by NLC stopped being something to be avoided and gradually became a fad, whether by devout imitators seeking to follow in Conceicao's footsteps or people who simply saw the mildly directed NLC-derived mutagens available in Brazil as too tempting to ignore.
  • Recent History:Brazil was not the only country that experienced trouble in South America, however, and few saw the rise of charismatic demagogues in the same manner as Brazil, leaving them unstable. Some governments had simply collapsed into civil war, while others struggled to maintain control, but, one after the other, they collapsed, often with the unwanted aid of the CIA. Numerous attempts were made on President Conceicao's life, including attempted coups, though all either failed to gain traction, were foiled by the fanaticism that pervaded the country, or, reportedly, by Conceicao herself.

    Emboldened by failed American attempts to depose their leadership, Brazil made increasing overtures to act as an inlet for the Soviet Union in South America, simultaneously offering industrial aid to countries in Africa and Europe in an effort to avoid total American dominance over potential trading partners and stay at the forefront of technological development. In particular, Brazil maintained close relations with a number of coastal West African states, including Nigeria, in which it became heavily involved in economic aid. The 1980s also saw the beginning of a full-fledged Brazilian space program, leading to the development of a sort of cultural cosmism that further increased government R&D funding and the country's obsession with its alien visitors. In 1991, the cultural atmosphere of the country is much the same - pervasive popular support of President Conceicao, nearly uncontrolled technological development, and an eye always gazing toward the future.


Pressing Issues: Out of all the issues it faces, perhaps the most prominent is relative political isolation. While an active participant in the international community, Brazil as it stands lacks any genuinely close military allies aside perhaps Nigeria, though this is little consolation considering that it is nearly surrounded on all sides by relatively hostile governments under the control of the United States. While this does leave Brazil able to exploit its position as a thorn in the US's side for political leverage with countries like the USSR, it still lies on a political fringe that leaves it without genuinely friendly relations with any major power blocs. Additionally, the demands of a rapidly growing populace, few trade partners, and the industry of a burgeoning world power leave it with little available liquid reserves and fewer creditos, meaning there is little available flexibility within the Brazilian budget. Additionally, as it has been ruled by its current President for decades, its direction can often be single minded, lacking diverse outside perspectives.

Budget:

Note: credit for the flag goes to /u/RegularSloth on Reddit

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Added part two onto my post.
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