Anachromerica: The Lay of the Land
THE LAY OF THE LAND
Anachromerica is made up of several different “nations”, ruled benevolently by a much-beloved Emperor, Norton I. (This is almost a direct swipe from D:WP; however, I was a fan of this real-life character before I saw the game, so I kept him.) Each of these regions correspond vaguely to different regions of the United States at different periods of time, at least as those periods of time are portrayed in popular literature or whatever history books remain.
New Megalopolisburg: From gleaming art deco spires, to slums choked with the decay and garbage of human lives, New Megalopolisburg is the Big Banana, teeming with urban sophisticates, hard-boiled detectives, aspiring actresses hoping for their big break, superheroes leaping tall buildings at a single bound, gawking tourists, penniless immigrants looking for a better life, dangerous criminals (yet a superstitious, cowardly lot), and uncounted millions of other stories in the Naked City.
The Umpire State Building, the world’s tallest building, is guarded by suit-wearing bouncers with distinctive face protection; it is the headquarters of the notorious mob leader, Don “King” Kong, a 20-foot tall gorilla with flamboyant clothing and his rather unusual hairstyle.
Merrie Old New England: Noted for its thatched cottages, country bed and breakfasts, knights in armor, beautiful autumn landscapes, and witches roasting merrily on an open fire.
Sherlock Forest is the home of Robbing Hood and his Merrie Men (a soldier, a construction worker, an Indian, a biker, a cowboy, and a police officer), as well as the famous John Watson, The Crime Doctor.
Dragons have been declared a protected species here.
The Disunion: This area is beset by a long-running Civil War between the northern, urban region and its southern, agrarian region.
The North is ruled by Uncle Sam, a paranoid “Big Brother” style demagogue who mandates universal conscription; his gigantic posters are to be found almost everywhere. His co-ruler is Abraham Lincoln, an axe-wielding marble giant, who can usually be found at his Gettysburg address.
Ben Franklinstein, Uncle Sam’s chief scientist, has created a method of electrically reanimating zombies stitched together from the bodies of fallen soldiers. He is creating an army of the walking dead for the North.
The child prodigy General Sherman commands a unit of armored tanks that bear his name, invented by his friend, the canine genius Mr. Peabody, who is working on a time-travel device at present.
Also fighting in the Northern army is the much-feared Irish Brigade, composed of naked, tattooed warriors and bagpipe-wielding druids from the Emerald Isle.
The North Pole, a snowbound wasteland where Old St. Nick (also known as Satan's Claws) assembles his army of evil toys; is often accused of being a sweatshop (or “icicleshop”) by its diminutive elf workers. Toys which do not meet Nick’s exacting standards (dubbed “misfits”) are usually exiled to a remote island.
The South is ruled by Davy Jones Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, formerly a pirate known as the Buckskin Buccaneer. He spends much of his time huntin' and shootin' and singin' classic rock songs to living in the capital, the domed city of Atlanta, which has sunk to the bottom of the sea (along with his locker).
Atlanta was drowned by the wrath of the gods, who were punishing its denizens for sharing the secret formula for Coca Cola with mankind.
Crockett leaves much of the day-to-day rule of the South to the blue-blooded Dukes of Hazzard County and their intelligent talking car, General Lee.
The Terrible Swift Swordsman, the Southern superhero.
Greatly feared by the Northern armies is The Clan, tartan-sheeted warriors linked by an electronic network, who always fight to the death.
Not to be forgotten are the feuding Killbillies, isolated mountain-dwelling martial artists whose banjo-duelling tradition is as legendary as their bright yellow athletic suits and sneakers.
The Thin Blue Mason-Dixon Line divides the North from the South. As the name suggests, it is guarded by:
the secretive Masons
astrologer and psychic Jeane Dixon Grey (after whom the South is sometimes called Dixie). To pass the line safely, you must know the secret handshake and whistle the correct tune together (“You ain’t just whistling ‘Dixie’!”, many a Masonic sentinel has cried as he shot a Northern agent).
The Missourippi River: This mighty river, the largest in Anachromerica, goes practically everywhere between the DisUnion and the Wild Wild West. Unless you’re in LaLaLand or New Megalopolisburg, chances are you’re not far from some tributary or another. The home to numerous bandits and riverboat gamblers, such as Big Muddy Waters and Wild Bill Shatner, it is traveled by all types of watercraft from big paddlewheel steamers down to crudely-built rafts and log boats. At the mouth of the Missourippi is Crescent City, home to jazz musicians, party-goers, voodoo worshippers, and people who eat alligator by choice. (See also Travel)
The Rustbelt: the industrial region, an amalgam of the worst aspects of Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, and some aspects of Chicago. Portrayed as a highly-mechanized, heavily-polluted urban nightmare.
The Wild Wild West: This is a vast, dusty land of mountains and deserts and plains, inhabited mostly by singing cowboys and turban-wearing Indians. It is the home to infamous outlaws and gunslingers such as Jesse James Jackson and Wild Bill Shatner. Gunfights at high noon are a time-honored tradition here, and almost no day goes by without one. Various metropolises, such as Sin City, Cowtown, or Big D, spring up seemingly out of nowhere.
The northern part of the Wild Wild West is accessible to the Missourippi River; the desert Southwest is not.
Tribes of Indians, such as the high-jumping Geronimo, and the minotauric Sitting Bull, made war upon the settlers and the Army that they saw as invaders of their land. Their bulletproof mystics, the Ghost Dancers, are becoming more numerous as more of the tribes are joining this magical mystery movement.The enigmatic Ghenghis Wayne, also known as “The Duke”, is the leader of a numerous tribe of Mongols that roams a radioactive desert.
Ghosts haunt the Wild Wild West. Some have reported seeing a herd of red cattle being pursued by ghostly cowboys across the endless skies.
Brilliant but insane dwarf Nicolito T. Loveless, the so-called "Mayor of Tiny Town", conducts terrifying experiments with electricity, magnetism, and gravity. Some say he is building an entire Western town with humanoid robots to attract tourists, but others whisper about an army of electro-bots built to invade Sin City. His numerous plots have reportedly been foiled time and again by a pair of Secret Service agents who use ingenious gadgets.
Walker, Lonesome Ranger is a mysterious martial-arts vigilante who wore a black mask and righted wrongs with his fists and kicks. Despite his nickname, he was often accompanied by his half-Chinese half-Indian companion, Kwai-Chang Singh.
The city of Big D is ruled by corrupt, charismatic oil-baron turned religious icon J.R. “Bob” Ewing.
The Magnificent Seven, a rag-tag pack of Ronin armed with katanas and six-shooters (and occasionally dynamite), wanders the West, teaching helpless villagers to defend themselves against the ever-present hordes of bandits lead by the bloodthirsty Mexican vampire, Eli of Wallachia. They were seven - And they fought like seven hundred!
Sin City is a fabled city of gold and neon, first sought by the conquistadores. It is a hidden yet tacky sybaritic paradise, the streets thronged by tourists, gamblers, and conventioneers, drawn by the legalized gambling and women of easy virtue. Sequin-clad Elvis impersonators vie for the throne left vacant by the mysterious disappearance of The King. Occasionally, the city is imperiled by rampaging bands of post-nuclear desperadoes shooting their guns in the air or the gigantic mutant creatures spawned by the nearby atomic bomb tests.
Many Indian tribes have begun to emulate Sin City’s prosperity by setting up tribally-owned casinos in other parts of the West.
Area 51 doesn't exist. It doesn't have a secret military base, and they certainly aren't keeping a captured UFO there. Comprende?
The Mild West: This land of dairies, beer, and small town Anachromerica has also produced most of the axe-wielding summer-camp maniacs in the world. Teenagers who indulge in forbidden pleasures such as smoking, alcohol, and sex are unknowingly sent to these camps to be hunted down by masked killers with chainsaws and hooks.
The small towns of the Mild West are usually named something like Smalltown, Littleville, Midvale, Smallhaven, Midhaven, Smallvale, Little Valley, etc.
One or the other of these towns was the scene of the famous Snopes Monkey Trial, where three intelligent apes from the future were put on trial for spreading urban legends about evolution.
The Windy City is the capital of this region. It is largely ruled by corrupt politicians and musical crime families like the Blue Man Brothers. Cattle mutilations are common here, mainly because there are so many cattle.
Route 666: A magical, infernal highway running from the Mild West to LaLaLand, lined with so-called "tourist attractions". Millions have driven it, some never to be seen again.
LaLaLand: This is a land of palm trees, swimming pools, and movie stars. Everyone drives here; use of narcotics is highly encouraged. Swarming bands of ninjarazzi (ninjas with cameras) stalk celebrities. Everybody is working on a script. Everyone has a shrink. One out of every 7 people here has been abducted by a UFO.
Hollyweird, also known as Tinseltown, is a place where reality and movies clash together, sometimes violently, sometimes comically.
Ronald Raygun (space-opera rocket jockey turned movie star turned politician) and his band of Star Warriors strive against the forces of the evil Governator, a cybernetic assassin turned actor turned politician, and Darth Nader, ruthless telekinetically-powered consumer rights activist turned politician.
The Magic Kingdom appears to be an idyllic fairytale kingdom, where cartoonish people and intelligent animals greet the millions of guests that walk through the gates. Unknown to all, miles of labyrinthine tunnels honeycomb the foundations of the kingdom, where unspeakable atrocities are committed.
The founder of the Kingdom, the Insidious Dr. Seuss, is cryogenically frozen, but his brain is active and connected electronically to the computer that controls the Kingdom. His disappearance is unknown to the world because of his lifelike Animatronic robots.
The so-called "Beverley Killbillies" are émigrés from the South, typical of their banjo-playing martial-arts kindred except for their accidental discovery of vast fortunes of oil on their property.
Little Chinatown: An almost-autonomous enclave, peopled by immigrants from China and their descendants. Almost everybody here knows kung fu, feng shui, and other Chinese words.
These are not described in any detail at this point, but some of particular interest are:
Canadia: The Great White North. Home of the Bear Naked Ladies, tribes of shapeshifting berserker women.
Germany: Ruled by the Disembodied Brain of Adolph Hitler!
Japan: The implacable enemy of Anachromerica, often sending kamikaze pilots, ninjas, mecha, and gigantic monsters to plague LaLaLand. With all the hallucinogens there, often nobody notices. They also try and flood Anachromerica with cheap electronics and weird consumer devices.
Mexico: The dense, choked jungles of the south are home to the Aztec Mummy-Kings. Dinosaurs roam the jungles too.