Forking Paths

"I tried askin' people… askin' them why things were the way they are here, and all they could say is that a flood happened. A flood like the kind in that Bible Tau reads. They say it happened overnight, a great flood that washed away the world. No gods, no kings, just man. But they say it is peaceful. There are no wars, no fighting over more than the necessities to survive. There is no war of national boundaries or ideologies. It—So many people must have died…"

Dajan Dunsimi — La Mer, Part II

How Time Works in the Flood of the Garden of Forking Paths

After the initial arrival of the travelers into the Flood Timeline on October 22nd, 2018 we will rapidly catch the characters up to "current" time in November of 2018. After which point we will be moving on a 1:1 ratio through to the end of the story.

The events of the Flood Timeline of Garden of Forking Paths will ICly take place (and be OOCly played) between October 22nd of 2018 and February of 2019.

Further information will also be made available soon.

A World Unlike Any Other

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The world of the Flood timeline is both dramatically divergent from the "Prime" timeline as detailed in the timeline page. While things can be dramatically different, there is also cause to believe some things may have happened the same in Flood as they did in Prime, but under different circumstances. See the 2006 Midtown explosion happening in Flood and Prime with similar figures involved, but also different circumstances and effects.

The world of the Flood is both harsh and serene. Nine years ago the Earth was thrown into apocalyptic environmental upheaval accompanied by a swift but brutal global conflict with the Vanguard, who diminished and disappeared when their grim task was complete. The world left behind is one where civilization has not been forgotten, but must simply be rebuilt. The lives of the focal-characters of the Flood Timeline in Garden of Forking Paths are spent primarily at sea or in towering communities built within the crumbling remains of skyscrapers. Life is about survival, how communities come together to rebuild, and the persistence of humanity in the face of disaster.

Due to the proximity of the Stormfront it is overcast and rainy more often than not in the local area.

If you'd like to see more of what the world of the Flood looks like, please check out this link for a sea-level rise map set to the appropriate height.

Additionally, for some inspiration for how civilization and infrastructure breaks down after an apocalyptic event, I recommend Life After People. This link begins at 5 years.

Where in the World?

The Garden of Forking Paths Flood timeline takes place primarily in New York City, centered around the Archipelago of Manhattan (known colloquially as the Pelago) and the open oceans beyond. Much of the play time will be divided between two major hub locations:

The first half of the story takes place in the Pelago (see below for more details) and eventually takes the travelers and their allies on a journey north across treacherous waters into the heart of the Stormfront, a massive super-storm perpetually spinning off the coast of what was once the American northeast.

In the second half of the story, we shift focus to the Commonwealth Arcology, otherwise known as the Ark, a subterranean facility located deep below the dramatically risen sea levels where the Garden of Forking Paths will reach its climax.

New Geography

The Pelago

The Archipelago of Manhattan, also known simply as The Pelago, are a chain of artificial islands made from the remains of Manhattan's tallest skyscrapers. With sea levels risen roughly 300 feet, much of New York City is located underwater. Wherever dry land is available settlers have moved in and attempted to make life work. The Pelago has a population of 18,750 survivors of the war with the Vanguard and the flood that preceded it. The residents of the Pelago live in mostly communal dwellings and internal cities constructed within the towering husks of skyscrapers. Settlements are often named for the buildings they once inhabited or local intersections they were famous for. Settlements like Empire, Sachs, and Broadway are divided up into residences formed from old office spaces, marketplaces that were once entire floors, workshops, scrapyards, and even hydroponic gardens. Rooftop spaces are reserved for additional garden spaces and salvaged solar paneling that — along with makeshift rooftop turbines — provide electricity to the Pelago. Tanker ships containing crude oil, long ago taken over by enterprising survivors, make the rounds from the Manhattan Pelago up further down the east coast and in to the newly forms bays and canals of lowland America, selling fuel for essential supplies and trade scrap.

Most residents of the Pelago are workers keeping the settlements operative, security against pirates and internecine crime originally formed from pre-flood law enforcement professionals but rapidly becoming a people's militia. Buildings are accessed at sea level via docks and piers constructed against the outside of the structures, often lashed together with rope, wire, power cables, and other salvaged material. Many ships survived the flood, and most independent residents either own a vessel of their own or are part of another resident's crew.

The primary government of the Pelago is the Manhattan Cooperative, an elected council of residents that conduct business within the remnants of the Empire State Building. The Manhattan Council has a representative from each major island-settlement along with influential individuals with power or resources essential to the city's survival. The council was formed in 2009 by philanthropist and former New York City mayor Gilbert Tucker who has since retired to maintain a sprawling gambling establishment elsewhere in the Empire settlement.

The Pelago

Palisades Sill

Palisades Sill is a settlement in close proximity to the Pelago, operated by a sect of the old Vanguard. Unlike the Pelago itself, Palisades Sill embraces piracy and functions as neutral territory and a general den of iniquity where morals are loose and the unscrupulous thrive. Visitors from the Pelago are not uncommon, although it’s understood that disputes between pirates and the Pelago’s inhabitants are either left at the door or dealt with in a manner that doesn’t threaten the status quo or damage management’s property.

The settlement itself is built both into and and on top of the Palisades: a five hundred foot stretch of cliffside that runs along what was once the Hudson River. Generally speaking, wealthier individuals and business owners are situated higher than those just scraping by, but there are exceptions to this rule where the settlement spills out onto the water, such as the expansive floating bazaar or distillers who have set up shop in the cave systems inside the cliffs themselves.

There are roughly one thousand permanent residents of the Palisades, but when business is booming and the cliffs are crowded by ships looking for a port, that number can sometimes triple. Ramshackle buildings built into the cliffs are connected by either rope bridges or rickety walkways of dubious construction that increase in reliability the closer to the top of the cliffs they are. A once-abandoned cruise ship, Freedom of the Sea, is permanently docked at the water’s edge and serves as a hotel for temporary visitors — for a price, of course.

Palisades Sill

The Stormfront

When the flood began in January of 2010 weather-related disasters began to tear across the Earth. One of the most devastating was the formation of numerous hurricanes that spun up in the mid-Atlantic and ravaged the American coastline. By July of 2010 attempts by weather-manipulating evolved to mitigate these storms instead caused an even greater calamity to be born. Adjusting airflows changing from the melting Antarctic ice gave way to a super hurricane beyond known classification. The weather manipulators disrupted air flow over an enormous oceanic current in an attempt to push the stone back out to sea, but so immensely affected the weather that it permanently altered the position of jet streams. In a year already inundated with storms, the National Weather Service had moved past named hurricanes and onto the Greek alphabet. Hurricane Alpha tore up the east coast from Florida to Massachusetts before being caught in the manipulated currents over unusually warm water. Instead of just preventing the storm from reaching land, these air currents locked it at sea where it will continue to churn for decades before running out of fuel.

Hurricane Alpha, known now simply as the Stormfront churns 15 miles off of what was the coast of Massachusetts. Bold pirates and opportunists use the cover of smaller storms spun off of the Stormfront to lead raids on surviving settlements. Most notorious among these pirates is Captain Sawyer, an alleged cannibal renowned for the destruction of dozens of ships and the decimation of countless coastal settlements. What lies beyond the Stormfront in the ruins of Massachusetts is unknown.

The Stormfront

The Tower

Located on the western edge of the Stormfront, The Tower is a broadcasting station in what was once Boylston, Massachusetts. Named after its eponymous radio tower that has weathered the arrival of Hurricane Alpha and the war that tore across the world, the Tower is a respite within otherwise hostile waters. The 1,350 foot tall tower resides on a wind-lashed island just off the new coast of Massachusetts near the island of Marlboro, ten miles outside of the Stormfront. A concrete broadcast building maintained by local settlers is set at the Tower's base and typically sends music and seemingly gibberish morse code signals as far south as New York, when the weather permits. The Tower is a landmark navigated by those brave enough to pilot through pirate-infested shores, as the glowing red beacons burning on the tower still shine at night. Pirates universally avoid accosting the residents of the Tower, and local wisdom is that they don't have the time, skill, or willpower to maintain the broadcast station and have become accustomed to its presence. Other rumors suggest the residents of the Tower are self-aware machines that have killed any and all intruders.

The Tower

The Commonwealth

Rumors persist of an underwater settlement located somewhere within the Stormfront, known as the Commonwealth. Seafarers have long sought this fabled city that has resisted the collapse of civilization, but no evidence points towards its existence.

The Tower

Ships of the Flood

Sea travel is common in the Flood timeline and most characters either have a ship of their own or are a part of another character's crew. The choice in ships, crew, and the like will be extremely important toward the middle and second half of this final story arc, so be sure to consider if your character is a member of another player's crew or has a vessel of their own. Below are a list of confirmed vessels and their captains and crew. This list will be updated as time goes on.

Ship Designation Captain Crew
The Featherweight Woods Carina and Des
The Trawler Ricky Daselles Unrevealed
The Far Mariner Unclaimed Open
The Forthright Eve Asi (on/off), Atticus, Monica, Silas, Walter
Oar Place or Mine Unrevealed Unrevealed
The Stray (wrecked) Edward (formerly) Else (formerly)
The Starling (rumored) "Natalie" Unknown
The Cerberus Ryans Adam, Huruma, Geneva and Delia
The Sayonara Remi Open

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