|This is a /co/ related article, which we allow because we find it interesting or we can't be bothered to delete it.|
Endtown is a webcomic series created by Aaron Neathery, starring a bunch of animal people!. If you loved Watership Down, When The Wind Blows, Felidae, Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, and Plague Dogs, you'll love this!
It can be read here.
Approximately one year prior before The End of Civilization as We Know It, an apparent mutagenic plague began to strike at random within the borders of Neitherland. People infected with the mysterious mutagenic virus began to, almost instantaneously, mutate either into mindless carnivorous monstrosities or cartoon-ish anthropomorphic animals. Either mutation is seemingly random, the only apparent cause-and-effect being that victims who mutate while awake become monstrosities and those who are asleep or unconscious become animals. Those fortunate (or unfortunate, depending upon your point of view and general temperament) to become anthro mutants find themselves thoroughly altered; appearance, size, abilities, longevity, and even their own thinking processes are all altered. All mutants were originally targeted as disease carriers through a cooperative effort between the Neitherland Department of Disease Control and the APEX Corporation, a weapons development/ mercenary/ entertainment/ food service powerhouse and creators of the globally-popular disintegration technology known as Zero. As the NDCC and APEX were unable to pinpoint the nature of the mutagenic virus or effect any cure for those afflicted, their quarantine efforts quickly became a mutant extermination campaign in the hope that the spread of the virus could be halted. Despite thousands of armed, hazmat-suited NDDC/APEX agents combing the country with orders to round up or execute mutants on sight, the plague began to spill over Neitherland's borders. Mutants and even their un-mutated friends and loved ones began to seek shelter wherever they could, many in caverns, sewers, and tunnel systems, and others in hidden underground facilities seemingly intended as bomb shelters. With the world in a blind panic over the rapidly spreading mutagenic plague, Neitherland soon found itself under attack from global military forces determined to eliminate the source of the plague itself. The resulting six minute planet-wide exchange of Zero ICBMs is officially known as World War Three but is more fondly recalled as The End of Civilization as We Know It, at least by those survivors with a flair for the dramatic. As far as is known, much of the world is reduced to immense fields of fine, white dust, the disintegrated remains of nearly everything and everybody on the surface. Beneath the ground, in their shelters, now colonies, the mutant survivors and their still-human companions await the day when, it is hoped, they may return to the surface world to begin civilization anew. And above, the surviving NDDC/APEX extermination squads, now known colloquially as Topsiders, still trapped in their hazmat suits, await with vastly advanced technology to extinguish the mutagenic plague once and for all by eliminating mutants, the presumed carriers, from the face of the Earth. Our story.. at least this story.. takes place in the Great Waste, a nearly 70,000 square mile area consisting primarily of white dust, scattered ruins, and more dust. Despite outward appearances, the Great Waste is actually home to many colonies of mutants. As the Great Waste is the former location of Hillside, capital of Neitherland and one of the largest cities on Earth prior to World War 3, these colonies are, by and large, the surviving remains of various portions of the city’s underground infrastructure. The inhabitants of these colonies are, by and large, the surviving remains of the population of Hillside. These colonies began life before WWIII as shelters for those attempting to avoid annihilation and serve the same purpose today. Colonies vary in style, size, and government and all, understandably, have their share of problems. Some colonies are simply re-dressed cavern, tunnel, or sewer systems with nothing in the way of amenities while others seem purpose-built, with features that make survival all the easier for the inhabitants. Hoping to avoid the failures of the past that led to the End of Civilization As We Know It and faced with new and tremendous challenges to their very survival , these colonies have been motivated to try new systems of government, social order, and lifestyle.
Two Colonies of Note:
Endtown is, presumably, the largest of the mutant colonies; a rather quaint village built within a massive cube-shaped cavern several miles beneath the barren and featureless Great Waste where the vast city of Hillside once stood. Accessible only through hidden pneumatic tubes, the colony is divided into two levels: the town proper where the colony's approximately three thousand residents live and, between it and the surface, the more technologically advanced security level that serves to protect the town from attack. Endtown enjoys relatively modern amenities including indoor plumbing and electricity. Massive light panels that line the cavern's ceiling simulate outdoor daylight and gradually dim to darkness at dusk to simulate nightfall. The town is also served by a series of fresh water canals and a water treatment facility for sewage waste removal. A multi-story clock tower is located in the center of the town. The average citizen of Endtown is issued an identification card after being screened by security and accepted into the colony by a board committee. All citizens live on a regulated welfare system that covers their daily needs for food, water, and shelter. New citizens are allotted twelve items of new clothing and citizen welcoming committees often manage to gift them with an additional welcome basket of candy, deodorant, and other rare goods. Every employed Endtown citizen is also given a monthly allotment of credits that can be exchanged for goods and services not covered by the welfare system, including appliances, alcohol, and hot oil rubdowns. Old Neitherlandian currency, being analogous to the credit system, is incorporated into Endtown's economy which is regulated by a central banking commission. How much a citizen earns is dependent upon the nature of their employment. Citizens who perform civil services or work in facilities and businesses can earn a fair wage. Those who perform such dangerous duties as mining or foraging for resources on the surface earn much, much more. Endtown is a deliberative direct democracy, employing a random lottery to select adult citizens to serve, in shifts, on a secret High Council of twelve members that makes consensus decisions on all matters regarding economics, resources, security, and law. The members of the High Council are unknown to each other, performing their decision-making duties from separate living quarters equipped with inter-communications systems that permit them to deliberate, via text and electronically disguised voices, and vote as a group. As each member is unknown to the other and can be jailed and otherwise penalized if they reveal their identities while serving, the likelihood of collusion or outside conflict between members is reduced or eliminated. Each member serves on the High Council for one week only, earns the equivalent of one week's pay, and are exchanged out at the rate of four a week resulting in a constantly rotating deliberative body directly representing Endtown's citizenry. The government is most directly represented within the town itself by a High Council-appointed mayor who helps citizens smooth out personal grievances, aid them in bringing cases before the High Council, announce, explain, and oversee High Council decisions, and otherwise serve as an effective conduit between the people and their government. Mayors tend to remain in office for years at a time. Answerable to the High Council but generally operating autonomously is Endtown's Chief of Security who is responsible for directing the colony's approximately 100 security officers, drafting security policy for review, and enacting those policies once approved. The Chief of Security, as well as Endtown's security officers, live within the confines of the security level. Standing apart from the government itself but acting as a free agent of nearly equal importance is the scientist Professor Nikolai Xavier Mallard who is responsible for establishing and directing most of Endtown's science programs and is largely, if not entirely, responsible for many of the colony's technological innovations. These include hand-cranked ray guns and a synthetic "vitamin cake" that prevents malnutrition. Professor Mallard also developed and designed the technologies that make Endtown's High Council system possible. Regularly available to the High Council as an adviser, Mallard enjoys unhindered access to all levels of Endtown society and government. Also available for advice and counsel to Endtown's citizenry is a highly mysterious sentient pool of water known as the Oracle. Located in a natural cave in one of the outer walls of the city, the Oracle has been observed to have telepathic powers as well as clairvoyance. The Oracle is served and tended to by a mysterious robed kangaroo rat known as the Assistant, who permits the Oracle to 'move' by carrying about a portion of its water in a glass tumbler.
Unity began life with a population consisting of a variety of mutant types. Suffering from overpopulation and a severe shortage of resources, Unity's social order began to fragment and ultimately descend into tribalism, resulting in a population divided between groups based on their mutations. An influx of Reptilian mutants from adjacent colonies galvanized that faction into taking over Unity by force. The Civil War that ensued resulted in the complete extermination of the colony's non-Reptilian population and the victors adopted a unified cultural identity based on species superiority. Unity is a six-level brick, mortar, and wood complex located beneath the Jiffywhip Badlands of the Great Waste, lacking such resources as electricity and served only by a handful of water wells. Compared to Endtown, Unity's technology is decidedly medieval, consisting of rough woodcrafts and salvaged materials. Its most outstanding feature is a massive arena with seating for up to five thousand and a domed glass-tiled ceiling to better distribute light from the massive central chandelier. Unity's social order is hierarchical with an Emperor and Empress ruling over workers. These workers perform such basic duties as food preparation, carpentry, and providing child care. Faced with perpetual resource shortages, the colony also resorts to highway robbery, sending out bands to the surface to steal the belongings of unfortunate passerby. Unity often disguises their theft by arguing that the confiscation of property is a form of penalty for trespassing or some other trumped-up infraction. In order to maintain a Reptilian-exclusive population, the colony is engaged in a program of forced ethnic homogeneity. As mutant children mutate randomly into a wide variety of animal forms at the fetal stage within the womb (or, in the case of Reptilians, eggs) all eggs were candled to select and hatch Reptilians only with the remainder used as food. Female Reptilians had to produce fertilized eggs in abundance in order to increase the odds of Reptilian births and therefore free sexuality is encouraged. Hugely xenophobic, the Reptilians treat outsiders with complete contempt, often killing some for sport in their arena and enslaving others. They aren't particularly pleasant even to each other. Best avoided.
-The introduction in the RPG.
tl;dr "Fallout meets Diary Of Ann Frank" with a touch of Resident Evil style apocalypse thrown in for good measure."
As a Tabletop Game
Thanks to the ongoing
obsessive and frightening waifuwars dedicated fandom of /co/, a tabletop RPG has actually been homebrewed and is currently being playtested.
The game features a very fast character creation and simple rules.