The records stop
four hundred years in the future,
after the lines shut, and the corporation withdrew. What we know of how we got here is pieced together by the fragments of the rail maps and corporate orders that survive.
After numerous waves of social collapse, Glasgow, a once prosperous city, had run to waste in lawless ruin.
The city passed into the hands of
a German-speaking conglomerate, who incorporated the territory into a new civic entity: Neurealm. In an attempt to revive some sense of order, the conglomerate embarked on an ambitious program of infrastructural development centered on the construction of a large overland rail network, which they named
Caledonia New Realm.
Three lines; the Nordwest, New Gàrradh
and Árdkaserne were built, and
construction began on a crossrail tunnel,
the Zentraal Line.
It would never open.
Any momentum towards recovery
was wiped out when Klaw appeared.
There are no records of when the drug arrived in Neurealm, but we know where it took hold; in the dismal communities on the southern banks of the now-dry riverbed that cut the city from West to East.
A vicious narcotic that abused its users without mercy or restraint, Klaw gripped hundreds of thousands of the destitute masses that made the enormous squat between Pollockshail and Pollocksgaith their home. Very soon, stricken dependents turned to crime to feed their habits, running raids across the city from their labyrinthine base. The warren would come to be known as Heaven's Tilt; and the waves of junkie scum the first major gang of Neurealm;
the Dark Leviathan Krew.
Chaos flowed out from Heaven's Tilt.
The newly built rail network provided arteries into the city, junkies swarmed and looted, with the Dark Leviathan Krew claiming as their own fiefdom the territory of the New Gàrradh Line. Within weeks its surfaces were covered in the scrawls of the addicts; the carriages tattooed top to bottom in an arcane, knotted and wretched script.
The New Gàrradh line teemed with contagion. From the trains the dead-eyed spilled. Houses, whole neighbourhoods, were looted in zombified stupor. Food and water became scarce. Economic activity ground to a halt. The Dark Leviathan fell into a narcotic half-life spent in feudal squalor and euphoric pain. Whether by mismanagement, incompetence, or simply indifference, the ruling council of the conglomerate failed to act in any meaningful way to limit it.
Not everyone stood idle. With the council absent, the remnants of the police and security forces seized their opportunity. Fortifications were erected along the Nordwest Line, and among the former aristocratic enclaves of the West End. Tactical weaponry, riot gear, even military ordinances were turned on the citizens. A brutal repression began; the paramilitary force renouncing any sense of duty to the city itself, instead formed its own gang;
the Onslaught Ash Krew.
The Ash squads, no longer bound by law, instead operated out of pure contempt.
They spent their days hunting and killing junkies; bursting into raves in full tactical gear and murdering for sport. Wanton in their cruelty they sat, enthroned, joyless, in the once-esteemed great houses of the west of the city, venturing from their reinforced strongholds in Georgeskreuz, Eldonzirkus, and Kelvinhain
to strike with brutal force.
Whilst clashes between Onslaught Ash troops and Dark Leviathan adherents spread across the Nordwest and New Gàrradh lines, the remaining Árdkaserne Line became itself increasingly fortified; the only passage of refuge for those terrorized by the Klaw addicted junkie masses and the Ash squads. Having lost control of all three branches of the rail network, the council announced its full withdrawal from the region, giving the order of the indefinite shutdown of Caledonia New Realm.
Neurealm, spurned by its government and people alike, enters The Fall; a grim ravestate of factional warfare and ruin.
In the chaotic collapse, as infrastructure was abandoned and food became scarce, an evacuation of the last citizens began towards the north along the Árdkaserne Line. Their hope was to establish a simple life of farming colonies in the woods above.
The cold hardship of the frigid wilderness took its toll. Colonies became cults, and as food supplies dwindled, the dream of a new world in the forests turned to something much darker. From the third line was born the third of Neurealm's gangs, and with it a culture of new horrors; pagan ceremonies in the woods, witchcraft, blood sacrifice, whispers of cannibalism.
They called themselves the Cold Eye Krew.
All three lines were now segregated.
All crossing points were killing-fields.
With Caledonia New Realm construction halted indefinitely, a no-mans land emerged around its municipal headquarters in Parkzicht, the enormous culture complex that had been built in the center of the city.
This is our setting;
Neurealm, After The Fall.
In the chaos of the ruins, there is only one form of anything resembling culture left: the enormous, multi day raves that take place inside Parkzicht's shell, in the monumental caverns of the abandoned palace of art.
Underneath Parkzicht run the forbidden tunnels of the Zentraal Line, the never-completed Subway that was to service the heart of the city, long-abandoned, dangerous, impenetrable.
It is here – the rumour persists – that somewhere in the labyrinths and catacombs below resides a figure who it is claimed will bring an end to this age of darkness.
An avenging angel, a Joan of Arc, a rave goddess somehow untouched by the anguish of the surface. It’s unclear if the remaining citizens hope that she saves or destroys them. It is unclear if she even truly exists, or if she is some collective dream, a necessary madness to envisage some kind of terminus point for this misery.
Her name is Eclipser.