Lost in the Shadows
Divided We Stand United We Fall
Many governments had destabilized thanks to the Crash and they put themselves to rights in its wake with varying degrees of complexity and violence. Among those most affected were the Americans, Russia and Europe.
Already divided by the Treaty of Denver, North America wasn’t through balkanizing yet.
On October 15, 2030, the remnants of the United States and Canada decided to merge into one country: The United Canadian American States. Both countries had been kicked around hard enough economically that the notion simply made sense; we could each bolster the other while cutting down on the usual red tape and diplomatic snafus.
California, one of the few opponents of the measure, was the only place that held hearing after hearing on the matter, going so far to hold a referendum on seceding from the UCAS. Check that: Many referenda.
California’s secession fever caught on in the South, particularly with those who, even after all these years, were still smarting from the Civil War. In 2033, while the UCAS merger was still young and ongoing, legislators from the southern states staged a walkout. They met later to discuss secession among themselves, a discussion that ended up as a no-go. It evidently remained an option to them, because that’s exactly what happened the following year when they broke away as a protest against what they saw as preferential treatment for northern sprawls. Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia seceded from the UCAS, forming the Confederation of American States (CAS). Though Florida had been part of the original secession talks, the state instead decided to join the new Caribbean League.
Russia experienced more than a few disruptions, beginning in 2030. In the Siberian wilderness, Awakened forces rose up and seized control, dominating the Western Siberian Lowland and several other areas west. Seemingly inspired by this turn of events, the next year Belarus, which Russia had retaken after the Year of Chaos, attempted to secede the next year, and at the same time the Ukraine moved to seize the Black Sea oil reserves and free themselves from their energy dependency on Russia, taking advantage of Russian’s lack of communications and surveillance capabilities due to the Crash.
By this time, Russia was desperate for resources. They needed to retain control somewhere and so they rolled in the troops to take care of the rebellious Belarussians and Ukrainians. Unfortunately this mired them deep into a war that lasted for twelve years.
Something happened January 23, 2033 that nipped the worst of he Euro Wars in the bud. That night, Swedish airspace monitors picked up several flights of what appeared to be British Aeorspace Nightwraith fighter-bombers moving rapidly across northern Europe. Before anyone could move, they took out key communication and command centers on all sides of the conflict. In addition, unknown assassins killed over a dozen key commanders.
The next day, all combatants announced a cease-fire. Despite the circumstances, the Brits denied any responsibility for the attack. Additionally every government that plausibly could have done it has publicly denied it. We have theories a-plenty, but no proof, so the real perps remain a mystery still.
The Second Ottoman Jihad
The fighting of the first Euro War had yet to die down when Europe was set upon by a new threat. A call for Jihad against the “Western oppressors” galvanized several Islamic nations under the banner of the fundamentalist Alliance for Allah. They marched on those they blamed for fomenting instability and sucking the oil-rich region dry during the Resource Rush.
Turned back by Israeli nuclear and magical defenses, the Alliance’s Jihad set its sights on Russia and Europe. After three years of brutal fighting where the Jihad’s vast numbers almost overran Europe and Russia’s technological advantage, the war peaked with the assassination of the Alliance’s leader during a visit to Istanbul. The internal bickering that followed gave the Euro forces the upper hand and led to the liberation of Jihad-occupied territories. The bitter bloodshed, ethnic and religious culling, and the vengeful retaliations that followed would scar Eastern Europe and Central Asia for decades to come.
While many nations were falling apart, a few new ones were coming together. The nation of Yakut that formed in Siberia (helping to kick off the Euro Wars) was just the beginning.
The Awakened had their day yet again 2034, when three great dragons led other Awakened beings and metahumans into the Amazon basin. There they clashed with Brazilian forces in a short and brutal conflict. Brazil ceded most of the basin to the Awakened forces, which they proclaimed the new land ‘Amazonia’. Two days later, Amazonia turned around and claimed most of Brazil. They’ve been relatively quite for self-proclaimed eco-saviors, but apparently there have been some policy changes in recent years.
Back in 2029, a bunch of elven teenagers from the Salish-Shidhe territory decided to move to the Mount Rainier area, where they then declared themselves a separate tribe called the Sinsearach. Most people just shrugged at this; no one really cared except for a few who perhaps gratefully washed their hands of the elf tribe.
On the other side of the world, on Christmas Day in 2034, Seamus O’Kennedy proudly announced the transformation of Ireland into Tir na nOg (legendary ‘Land of the Young’) with all the gosh and blarney he could muster.
With such a wondrous example to follow, in 2035 the Sinsearach elves seceded from the NAN and announced the formation of the Land of Promise: Tir Tairngire. The Salish-Shidhe did not like this, and expressed their displeasure with troops sent to retake the Land of Promise.
After Tir Tairngire forces sent the Salish-Shidhe packing, the leaders sat down to create their quasi-feudal society. They started with a Council of Princes, naming Lugh Surehand as High Prince and reluctantly including the Great Dragon Lofwyr (whom we’ll talk about further a little later). Once all was to their liking, they all but closed their borders (being highly biased towards elves and against the rest of us dirty metahumans) and called it good.
The Last Wave
With so many defections and secessions happening, it’s a wonder that the North American region didn’t become a collection of house-sized kingdoms. Among the last to secede were the Tsimshian nation and California.
Tsimshian’s defection from the NAN was the last straw for Howling Coyote. After spending years attempting to guide the NAN through the Sovereign Tribal Council, he resigned in disgust at what it had become and hasn’t been heard from since.
California levied the last of its secession threats in 2036. The last because then-President McAlister forced them to make good by kicking California out of the UCAS. As soon as all the UCAS forces left, Tir Tairngire rolled in. They mounted a surprise attack on Northern California with infantry and air support supplemented with para-animals, combat mages and (allegedly) two dragons, advancing as far as just south of Redding. There they stopped, set up camp and demanded that all non-elves leave the area in thirty days.
The response was, predictably, “To hell with you!” Guerrilla resisters banded together and managed to push the Tir forces back to Yreka. The area between Yreka and Redding became a DMZ. But at the same time as the Tir’s assault, Aztlan rose up and took another bite out of the newly independent state, striking north and capturing San Diego. Foreseeing a future that included more of this, California’s then-Governor Treacle, made the worst possible move and appealed to Japan for help.
Help arrived in the form of Imperial Japanese Marines who took the kind invitation and grabbed up San Francisco in the name of “protecting Japanese lives and corporate assets.” This would have worse repercussions later. Meanwhile California was the California Free State (CalFree, baby!) and a little bewildered at the condition its condition was in.