Everyone alive today was born after the end, and as each generation passes the memory of life before fades into myth. It has been something about 100 years. Four generations of life in the new and changing world. For the End was not sudden, and the changes continue even now. Humanity is adapting. The Golden Generation, the latest, has somehow begun to develop resistance to the poisons that leave large swathes untouchable.
Much of the land is tainted. Poisoned. Safe tracks must be carefully plotted, mapped and checked. Winds may shift invisible toxic mists that settle into previously safe valleys, or polluted rivers may gradually wear their way into safe sources of water. Some plants survive in tainted places and gradually concentrate the toxic deposits in their branches, leaves and fruits becoming themselves highly dangerous to go near but creating oases of safety for as far as their roots reach. Others grow despite the toxins, or grow only in safe places. To know which is which is hard won, and carefully hoarded.
Animals changed as well. Many simply went extinct. Others adapted and have become immune to the
toxic areas. They may roam safely there,
needing no protection in their isolation.
Other places have lead to strange and horrific adaptations. Gigantic bears, spider’s whose toxin must
affect creatures immune to the poisons humanity spread and many others besides.
Humanity was not spared from change. Chemicals of warfare killed, but some corrupted minds, others bodies. Populations rendered mindless with a poisonous gas, soldiers modified by gene splicing and twisted by drugs and training into machines of murder amongst other horrors. The descendants of these atrocities inhabit the wastes following the instincts passed down by their forbearers.
Food is scarce. Safe water safe even rarer. Usable materials to make and repair objects have to be salvaged from the decaying remains of the past. In those places where resources are available small settlements have formed and between them precarious trade routes. Rarely can a single place support more than a handful of people, and rarely for long without help. A brutal interdependence between settlements has developed where each fiercely protects what they have in abundance such that they can trade for what they lack.
Avoss is such a settlement, and by new world standards, a very large one.