Here's your introduction to the setting of our RPG.
Welcome to the Manmade Island of Shad, 1998
History of Shad: In 1960, an international project was conceived. A manmade island would be built off the coast of China. It would be the center hub of the new world economy. Its completion in 1972 instantly sparked controversy. Despite clear statements by the United Nations that all of Shad was owned by all UN nations, countries claimed districts of the island for themselves. The practice became so out of control that the UN secretly formed a terrorist group, Protectors of Shad, in order to attack any group who tried to claim Shad for themselves. The plan worked, but too well. Shad devolved into an urban sprawl where violence ruled. Shad was declared a waste of time for the entire world and the international committee for governing Shad was dissolved.
Government on Shad: There is nothing that you could call a “government” on Shad. There is a police force and a fire department, but they are independent and charge hefty fees for their services. There are no official laws, so the police force function as mercenaries. The island is ruled by organized crime. There are four major crime syndicates on Shad. Minor street gangs are common.
The Protectors of Shad are the leftovers from the original UN project. They gained a lot of power early on due to UN support, the effects of which are still active.
The Shadow Kings are the newest gang on Shad. They arrived in 1985 and instantly made a name for themselves. They are currently the smallest organization, but are growing in power.
The Laughing Witches make most of their money through “taxes” collected from those in their part of the city. They are less aggressive than the other gangs (though if provoked can be just as ruthless and aggressive). They are the closest Shad has to a law enforcement service, as they will protect their donors.
The Chemical Syndicate are the drug lords of Shad. They are responsible for the engineering and distribution of many new drugs. It is rumored that they sell drugs to contacts off the island.
Gang Activity: Syndicates will only do things which profit themselves. This leaves out harassment for harassment’s sake, picking on the poor, random murders, and the like. Street gangs have no such ethic. Syndicates regard street gangs as minor threats or annoyances and will not hesitate to exterminate them if they become too dangerous.
Society on Shad: All citizens of Shad naturally mistrust anyone who they do not personally know. This goes double for anyone who is obviously not a native to the island. (The island is so new that “native” is more of a state of mind than a matter of location during birth.) There are no free lunches on Shad because nobody is stupid enough to accept them. It should be noted that this mistrust is equal. You will not hear any racist or sexist remarks on Shad. Instead, you will hear insults such as “petty thief” or “wannabe gangster.”
Just because the island is ruled by criminals does not mean that everyone is a criminal. There are restaurants, factories, home repair companies, and all sorts of honest businesses. It does mean that everyone on Shad will come in contact with a gangster at least twice a week, if it’s serving them food, selling a watch to one, or being stabbed by one.
The island was purposefully made to be a multiethnic place. You can find any culture on any street. People of like cultures tend not to group together, due to the all-encompassing identity of a citizen of Shad. Restaurants or groceries of any ethnicity can be found with ease.
Virtually every language is spoken on Shad, though the most common are Mandarin and Japanese. Most people will know one if not both. English is more popular than most other languages, and can be thought of as “everyone’s second-favorite language.”
Everyone uses the same dollar as currency. It’s unrealistic, yes, but it makes everything so much easier. Disagree and the mob will bust your skull.
The Island Itself: The island is one giant city. Residential, commercial, and industrial areas run together so much that they are nearly indistinguishable.
There are two forms of public transportation: the monorail and taxis. Both are owned by private companies. The monorail can take you places faster and cheaper than taxis, but the taxis are safer. The monorail employs members of the police force to keep things quiet.
The island can be accessed via boat, helicopter, or a very long highway/bridge system.
The numerous docks around the city are the most popular method of trade. The majority of companies that trade with Shad are Asian, though North American, South American, and Australian companies do have their share of trade.
All helicopter traffic is private. Due to a lack of space, no airport could be built, and only the rich could afford helipads. Owning a helicopter is a sign of wealth.
The highway system is a series of bridges and smaller islands used as truck stops and rest areas. Shad has bridges going to Taiwan, China, and Japan.
I know it's disorganized, and I'm positive that I left something out. If you want to know more, ask!
Coming soon: Who's Who on Shad.
|comments: Leave a comment|