Gloom Town

Introduction

It is the year 1957 but not as you know it. A century ago the sky changed and with it came the Wyrdlight. The heavens reddened to a sickly crimson palor and in the years that followed trees twisted and animals bent becoming grotesque caricatures of their former forms whilst the empires of Europe found their subjects regressing into mutation, degeneracy and madness. All light from the sun seemed to carry the Wyrd and exposure to it left people changed, they became known as the Wyrdtouched.

Living creatures were not the only things altered. From the corpses of the Wyrdtouched sprouted glowing blue crystals that seemed to hum with power. In their hubris the British named this element Victorium and turned their hands to its study, hoping to find a cheap source of endless energy. However it was quickly discovered that Victorium contained something of the Wyrd in itself. For those who handled it unshielded soon changed in bizarre and, if they were lucky, fatal ways. Yet within a few short years the first Victorium powered devices were produced and with them a new technological revolution began.

In order to prevent the further decay of the human populace Queen Victoria ordered a great energy dome erected over London to shield its denizens from the Wyrdlight. 10,000 labourers are said to have either died, gone mad or worse from Victorium exposure during its construction. But constructed it was and to gird the city from the brutal monstrosities that had once been the livestock and fauna of Britain a great wall was erected around the city itself.

Following the construction of the shield Victoria began the next phase in restructuring London to face the new world, she declared herself a God, dissolved Parliament and divided the city into seven Guilds. Each performing a different vital industry and each governing its own land semi-autonomously. This did not sit well with the aristocracy who stood to lose their land and power. Their response was nothing short of an attempted coup that ended in their destruction. The people of the city were empowered by their Guilds and fought tooth and nail to defend them.

The aristocrats that would not surrender were executed. Those that acquiesced were forced to join the Guilds and prove themselves on their merits rather than the privilege of their birth. Few survived.

Finally Victoria sent scientists to the remaining European capitals to disseminate the knowledge required to construct similar shields and from this act a new world emerged. A world of walled cities that languish beneath great domes of crackling energy while towering blocks of hydroponic farms provide sustenance now that the farmlands have been laid bare by the Wyrdlight.

Beyond the shelter of the domes lies little that is easily habitable. Villages and towns full of mad, gibbering mutants dot the landscape, ekeing out an existence as a bizarre parody of humanity. Resource sites such as mines are guarded jealously by state governments, the miners living and working in the relative safety of the underground and the minerals they excavate ferried back to refineries in the cities by networks of armoured trains and barges.

Standing vanguard against the madness and the darker hearts of men is the Crown Special Investigations Unit, those brave, foolhardy or just plain unlucky officers of the law whose lot it is to hunt down mad scientists, rogue psychics and other Wyrdtouched before they get out of hand.

You are one such officer and this is the only world you’ve ever known.

Welcome to Gloom Town.