|Date:||Thu, 9 Oct 1997 16:06:24 -0400|
This tiny, land-locked mountain nation exists as a nation only in the minds
of it's people. The actual territory of Afghanistan has been a part of Iran
(the Persian Empire) since 2034. Low-level warfare and minor terrorism was
relatively common, but not common enough for major action on the part of
Iran. Until 2054 that is. For reasons still unclear, the Afghan conflict
began to resemble the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s. The freedom fighters
began to enjoy increased financial support (from whom, no one is willing to
say) and their conflict again took on the elements of Islamic jihad. The
reintroduction of religion as a major element of their conflict shifted the
entire situation. Suddenly, Muslims from other nations began to travel into
Afghanistan to help in the fight against Iran. Islamic terrorism exploded,
literally, onto a global scale again, affecting virtually every Awakened
nation, even the two Tirs.
(>) You can bet that Algeria had something to do with it. Probably Syria
(>) Biz Quick
(>) I thought Iran was an Islamic theocracy.
(>) You need to move forward a few years. It was a rigid Muslim Shi'a
theocracy, but then Aden (you know, the dragon) up and destroyed most of
Tehran. A couple of years of civil war which ended with the governement we
(>) Biz Quick
And worse for Iran, the Afghan conflict spread into the regions of
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In other words, the
jihad had spread through most of Iran.
(>) Ah, put a shrimp on me barby, eh? Okay, maybe not. If anyone has ever
wanted to travel to the land "down under, where beer does flow and men
chunder," (sorry, just couldn't resist!) make sure you check out this next
(>) St. Stan
(>) Hey! We women can chunder too ya know!!
(>) Foster's Girl
(insert Lady Jestyr's piece here)
China is a flurry of chaos and instability, reverting to millennia old
provinces controlled by petty warlords. There is no central government and
many regions are little better than the war zones common in the South East
Asian War Zone. The last remnants of Maoist China still control Beijing and
the surrounding territory, but the vast majority of China is controlled by
some petty feudal lord or other. With at least a dozen or more warlords,
plus Maoist Beijing and the island nation of Taiwan, China is in a near
constant state of warfare.
(>) Given the political history of the area, the balkanisation of China came
as a shock to many. It's existed as a single entity for so long it is maybe
still hard to believe that it's changed so dramatically.
(>) Wasn't a shock to me, chummer. I've got buddies across the syndicates
and they tell me that the Triads took China down, plain and simple. Seems
that a fragmented nation is a lot easier for them to control.
(>) And that "single entity" wasn't always quite so singular. The boundaries
of China have ebbed and flowed significantly throughout the centuries. While
there has been a China for seemingly forever, there have been all sorts of
other nations in that region also.
With the collapse of Communist China, Taiwan saw an opportunity to "reclaim"
China as it's own, remembering how they were deposed from power, exiled and
hunted by the communists in the 1940s and 50s. Instead, it became mired in
the feudal politics and petty squabbling. Taiwan is still a relatively
modern nation, but slipping as it becomes more and more entangled in mainland
(>) Anyone looking to run in Beijing oughtta see my pal Mock Tse Tung first -
best face mods this side of the Rockies,
and skillchips to make you think you was born floatin in a rice patty.
(>) Shadowrunning in what's left of China is pretty hard to do, with the
exception of Hong Kong -- that's prime running ground because of all the
corps fragging each other with little or no laws to stop them. In the rest
of China, though, it's very hard to know where you stand with the various
warlords. One might hire you to do a run into the neighboring warlord's
territory, but whether he intends to pay you or execute you when you get back
(often, it's "if you get back") is very hard to say in advance. Take my
advice and stay away from China.
(>) There's a reason for that, isn't there?
(>) There's loads. Many warlords act like they're gods on earth, so if you
haven't done everything exactly right they may decide you're not worth having
around any longer. Suspected treason is also always a good reason for
getting rid of runners, and anyone aspiring to overthrow a warlord may try to
use you in their plans (usually without you knowing it), so if that comes out
the warlord who initially hired you might blame it on you. These internal
politics are very dangerous to get mix up in, and when running in China it's
pretty hard to stay out of them...Like I said, it's very hard to know where
you stand. Be very careful, these warlords aren't your typical Mr. Johnsons.
(>) Add the Awakened creatures from Chinese legends, a small monastery on
every hilltop preaching some obscure branch of the Buddhist faith, and
seventeen-dozen sifus claiming to have the only "true" Shaolin Kung Fu
teachings, stir in the Celestial Bureaucracy and mages who think wood and
metal are elements, toss in a dash of tong warfare, and then simmer over an
open flame of conflict for a couple of dozen years - that's more like a
recipe for why not to go to China.
(>) Aren't there Geomancers in China these days?
(>) The Neo-Iconoclast
(>) Geomancy, or Feng Shui, never really went away Neo. Once it spread out
and got a hold on Los Angeles office design in the last century, geomancy was
guaranteed to always have a place somewhere.
(>) Cube Squared
See Paradise Lost.
(>) Ahhh, beautiful land of surf, sun, fun, and Trogs! If there's any place
where it's VERY hazardous to your health to be a Humanis Policlubber, this is
it. When a third of the population can bench press buildings, you tend to
think twice about racial slurs.
(>) Benny the Trog
(>) Don't be so sure of yourself Benny. Unfortunately, some members of
Humanis tend to view areas Like Hawai'i as a bit of a challenge, and try all
the harder the get in. There are several different underground organizations
that have a strong foothold in the Islands that would like to see you
roasting over a bonfire for what you are. Sadly enough, not all of the
bigots are human. Seems there's some elves out there that don't like being
outnumbered so badly. Watch your back Benny, my man.
(>) Hey Rebel, sounds like you know a few things. If you're interested in
making a few cred, swing by La Maison D'Indochine next week and we'll talk
biz. Ask the bartender for me.
(>) Benny the Trog
This corporate haven re-emerged in 2012 after the collapse of China.
Controlled and ruled by the various corporations, there is very little in
the way of law, either corporate or civil. This doesn't mean that Hong Kong
is a haven for crime; the corporations jealously protect themselves, with a
side-affect of this being a relatively low violent crime rate.
(>) Leaves plenty of room for non-violent crime, though. Hong-Kong is a
prime runners market, and it's a lot easier to fit in than in mainland China.
The problem with Hong Kong is that it's small and isolated, and run by the
Corps. If you're running independent here and you frag up, you'll probably
die alone in some dark rat-infested sewer, hiding from the corp police.
(>) Hong Kong? Geez, yer tellin' all the little wannabe's to run the Kong?
Remind me to buy into funeral parlors there. I got three words as to why
you keep the hell outta China: Triad, triad, triad.
(>) I got three words as to why I keep the hell outta China: I ain't
(>) Actually, that's an excellent point. Most runners are from heavily
urbanized areas with extremely varied racial diversity - making it easy to
blend in because everyone looks so different. When making a run into many
parts of the world, the "curtain of invisibility" that exists in places like
Seattle simply doesn't exist. You automatically stand out because you aren't
Chinese, or Sikh, or whatever. Plan for this - or plan for your funeral.
(>) Wait a minute. What about the Triads? I thought they ruled Hong Kong.
That's what I read in the "Underworld" file.
(>) Death in Vegas
(>) It depends on where you are looking. The entire underworld is owned by
the Triads. Almost everything else is corp owned. They all play very
dangerous games with each other, fighting and scheming for more power and
influence. Right now I would say the Triads are winning.
Imperial Japan is perhaps one of the most powerful nations in the Awakened
world. Japan is also one of a small list of nations that has not suffered a
loss in territory since the Awakening. In fact, Japan has managed to expand
it's territory significantly, gaining control of the Philippines and a number
of other small islands, not to mention San Francisco. Japan is the leading
force in the region politically, militarily and economically. Theoretically,
the nation of Japan is controlled by the Emperor, the Diet (the Japanese
Congress) and the megacorporate controlled United Council. In fact the
Emperor and the Diet have very little real political power, with the United
Council and the corporations actually making all the key decisions, much as
they try to do everywhere else. And as they prefer to do, the Council lets
the vast Japanase government bureacracy take care of the mundane day-to-day
operations of running the government. The Emperor does have a great deal of
cultural and religious power however and his influence should not be
(>) It should go without saying, but Ares, S-K and the Azzies aren't on the
United Council. Strictly Japanacorps only. In fact, those three have a
really minimal presence in Japan, even down to a lot of their subsids. And
don't underestimate the power of the bureacrats. It's nearly a fuedal
society, with some of the positions nearly hereditary and with a lot of power
to go with it. Sure they jump when the corps ask, but many of them have free
(>) St. Stan
(>) Yeah. Gotta love Japan. They claim the metahuman concentration zones
were dissolved a few years ago. I just talked with "a friend of a friend"
and while they don't officially exist, there sure as frag do in fact. Frag,
I saw one back in '51. Hell, did you know they still portray Pearl Harbor as
a "defensive action," that they were winning World War II up until The Bomb
got dropped? Someone's got to tell the truth to those guys...
(>) I think you're being a little harsh, but you are, in essence, correct.
Over the past 70 years, over 80 teachers (that we know of; the real number
is likely much higher) have been thrown in jail because they taught something
other than the Japanese version of truth. Something is indeed rotten in the
Land of the Rising Sun. And has been since before the Awakening.
(>) St. Stan
(>) That doesn't, however, automatically mean that there is a "cabal of
immortal elves" or a "draconic conspiracy" behind it. As history has shown
us, man is capable of feats of self-delusion, hubris, and outright evil that
make the supposed worst excesses of these groups pale by comparison.
(>) Never said there was some Immortal cabal or that some wyrm was behind it.
It's more like something megalomaniacally rotten in the Japanese culture.
Japan is never wrong. Japan is always right. Japan is mother. Japan is
father. Or something like that. Don't get me wrong. Not everyone in Japan
is like that. But that is how an outsider might view the Japanese culture.
(>) St. Stan
Poised to become more than just a regional power before the Awakening, India
has been wracked by internal strife and struggle for the past 40 years. No
one can agree on how to best govern this diverse land and the re-emergence of
magic has only complicated things further. The caste system, on its way out
before the Awakening, has come back with a vengeance and has been further
complicated by metahumans. There are individual elven, dwarven, ork and
troll separatist movements. An extremely complicated nation of the verge of
either greatness or chaos.
(>) How do the metahumans fit into the caste system?
(>) Metahumans are a caste within a caste. Humans, then elves, dwarves, orcs
and then trolls. This means that a noble troll is higher up than a human
beggar. Trouble is, you see very few orcs and trolls is the upper castes
(draw your own conclusions). In fact, the highest noble caste is 95% human,
with the rest elves. And I don't think that number is natural.
(>) Considering the persistent stories regarding the number of supposedly
euthanized infants in England during the Awakening (a country that
traditionally placed a much higher value on human life), it doesn't seem to
be a particularly long jump of logic to arrive at the reasons why that number
seems artificially high, WildKatt. The British supposedly removed the
then-current King for having the poor taste to goblinize into a troll - in a
caste-conscious society like India, merely showing to the world that your
family line is so "weak" that it can't breed "true" has economic and
political consequences far beyond what you might expect to see in the UCAS or
CAS in a similar situation.
The island of Sri Lanka, while technically a part of India since 2023, has in
effect been ceded to the metahuman separatists, as of August 2058. While
still India in name, the governance of Sri Lanka has been turned over to
metahumans. It is unclear what exactly this recent development will mean for
(>) Sri Lanka has had to deal with separatist violence for a hundred years or
more. When India annexed it in '23 they performed a major operation to rid
the island of insurgents once and for all, and surprisingly, they more or
less succeeded. Over the past two decades, though, more separatist movements
have appeared than ever before. Nearly every ethnic or racial group
currently "has one," and there's a lot of in-fighting between them.
(>) World Wide Watcher
(>) Good merc country.
This former Soviet territory is wildly capitalistic. Anything and everything
is up for sale. Ruled by a strong but vastly corrupt democratically elected
government with very broad powers, this mountainous nation is a free-traders
dream. Originally built on oil profits, Kazakhstan's primary means of income
now is a small 4.1% sales tax on literally every transaction. Considering
everything from BTLs to slaves to LAVs to insurance contracts are sold here,
that is a rather healthy means of income for this mountainous nation. Of
course, this policy of "everything goes" has earned it a reputation just
above the Algerian Theocracy, Syria and North Korea.
(>) My kind of country!
(>) Chrome Dealer
Very little is known about this underdeveloped nation at this time. It is
generally assumed that very little has changed in the past 70 years, aside
from independence from China.
(>) Sorry, boyo, quite a lot has changed if I've heard correctly.
Supposedly, a political order called the Sons of the Tiger or some such drek
became fairly prominent in Ulan Bator back in '49. The Sons want to make
Mongolia a khanate again; rumor has it, they're gaining a lot of popular
support. I guess the Mongolians like the idea of becoming a major Asian
power again. My friend Gutterlark (the source of all this info) says that a
potential Khan--a troll named Oghatai or sumthin'--has been nominated by the
(>) I don't know if Witchfinder's information is truth or not, but I do know
this for a fact: relations are strained between Mongolia, Persia/Iran,
Kazakhstan and a couple of the Chinese states.
(>) The All-Seeing Eye
Still as underdeveloped and slow as it ever was. One of the few nations in
the area not hit by war or major change. Even with all the chaos in India,
Nepal managed to stay relatively unaffected. Given the continued unrest of
India however, it seems only a matter of time before this small mountainous
nation is drawn into the Indian conflict, especially with the high incidence
of dwarves and trolls in Nepal.
(>) India is convinced that dwarves and trolls from Nepal played a
significant role in the recent separatist "troubles." They can't prove
anything, but the relations with Nepal have been on the chilly side for the
past several years.
The only communist nation left, North Korea sees itself as the last bastion
of Maoism in the world and they must fight tooth and nail for survival. This
has led to a near constant state of low-intensity warfare with South Korea
along the Neutral Zone and the sponsoring of several different warring
factions within the quagmire known as China. It should also be noted that a
low-level insurrection has been going on in North Korea since the starvations
of 1996-99. North Korea has still not completely recovered from that
disaster and the small rebel movement is proof of that.
(>) The rebels get arms from South Korea and the UCAS.
(>) Gee, tell us something we don't know.
(>) Okay, here's something. Consular Operations (you remember those nasty
slags from the"Aztlan" file we all "never saw"?) has a couple of it's
working with the rebels. And strangely enough, the rebels are starting to
sport some new toys with an Ares design if not their logo...
The mountainous nation of Pakistan has retained it's position as a regional
power over the last 60 years. However, Pakistan is still an industrial
nation, ill-suited for the modern information age, which is one reason why
it's power is slipping. Of course, the 90-year long arms race with India may
have something to do with that also. It should be noted that border clashes
with India are a weekly occurrence.
Something of an irony. One of the world's safest nations (as far as the
official crime rate anyway), in the middle of the most violent region in the
world, the South East Asian War Zone. Singapore, while adding some territory
over the last three decades, remains a free trade zone much like Hong Kong.
The only difference is that there is still a relatively strong government
and their laws are strict and swift. An excellent corporate enclave.
South East Asian War Zone
The region know as the South East Asian War Zone is comprised of hundreds,
perhaps even thousands, of small city-states and tribes in a constant state
of flux. There are so many nations and they are always changing, so it would
be impossible to provide any accurate information other than a very brief
overview. Remnants of the old government of Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh,
Laos and Viet Nam maintain control over their capitols, but very little else
despite their claims.
(>) It's a merc's dream though. There's always some chump with nuyen willing
to hire someone with a gun out there.
(>) It's also a merc's nightmare. You never know exactly what is going on
out there. If you like to do more than just blow things up (like plan your
strikes), the South East Asian War Zone is not for you. Too much chaos is
not a good thing for some of us.
Korea is on the verge of being an economic power on par with Japan. But
then, it's been on the verge since the late 1980's. The only tangible thing
holding South Korea back is its constant troubles with North Korea.
(>) Makes you wonder what's really going on there. Think Japan is doing
something to hold South Korea down?
South Pacific Islands
The area known as the South Pacific, a collection of small islands covering a
large zone of the Pacific, has been relatively quiet and peaceful. The vast
majority of the islands have "gone tribal," a state of affairs that began
well before the Awakening. This is not to say that they are primitive;
rather it means that their governments and social conditions have reverted to
their old tribal ways. There are over one hundred separate governments in
the area, most of whom have mutual protection treaties against Imperial
Japan, which has annexed several dozen islands. Despite the Japanese
Occupation on these select islands, life still goes on as normal for the
people. The only non-traditional part of the South Pacific lifestyle is the
continued tourism, which is the primary source of outside income
(>) Easter Island: don't worry. Easter is not the new economic superpower on
the block. It has about nil in natural resources, a negligible amount of
trade goods in the form of miniature stone heads and only a trace population
on the main island (the Easter Island resort/casino, located about 120km away
on a small atoll, however, is a completely different story). However, Easter
Island is a magnet for mages and shaman of every breed, as the barrier
between this world and the Next seems to be thinner than any other area, with
the possible exception of Atlantis. Some have claimed to have met people
from their past - regardless of whether they have ever set foot on Easter
Island - and others claim to have found hamulet or rongorongo stones leading
them to the secrets of great power. It is well-known, however, that spirits
summoned here slip from their master's control very easily, and only the
brave dare summon Greater spirits in the region at all
(>) Whatever you say BTL-boy. Atlantis? Only on the trid. True, Easter
Island is a power site. But don't believe the hype.
(>) the Dark Stranger
The nation of Tibet gained it's independence in 2012 as the nation of China
was disintegrating. Shortly after Tibet gained independence, the entire
region was sealed by a powerful magical barrier. No one has heard anything
(>) People are becoming increasingly curious though. If you'll recall, Inazo
Aneki (you know, Renraku) was given the "Seal of the Green Gloves" in the Big
D's will. Supposed to let him, or a proxy, into Tibet. I'd love to know
what's thats all about.
(>) Fellow by the name of Wordman (some of you may recognize the name) was
curious and dug up a lot more info on Siberia than a little synopsis. All
the normal rules apply, so do try to behave.
(>) St. Stan
(insert Wordman's article here)