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Blood & Bone    Guidebook    Game World

Guidebook to Blood & Bone
  Back    Next   Game WorldMandatory Reading
All the lore directly related to the game world can be found here, such as the society of Stronghold, the technology present in the world, and even the climate and geography. We don't expect you to memorize all this in one go, however it is a mandatory read simply so you can better understand the world and how your character will fit in it. It's also important to know the basics of the world before first writing, however you can always come back to read it more in-depth at a later time as well. Use the linked tabs below to navigate:

Society & Culture
Military Rule
There is no true sense of government that governs Stronghold, only the Military. The Military took over not long after the outbreak, overthrowing the local government and replacing the local law enforcement with their own officers. They are now in complete control: what they say, goes. There is no questioning the Military. They are nothing more than an authoritarian regime, and while the thousands that suffer underneath them grow restless, there is very little alternative to their control: either suffer underneath them but remain safe inside Stronghold's walls, or turn one's back on them and live in the dangerous world infested with Infected.

Democracy no longer exists, as the public has no say on those that rule over them. In fact, the very highest ranking officers in the Military remain completely anonymous to the rest of society; faceless puppetmasters that face no consequences for their actions. These same people that govern the city also directly control those who safeguard the city, creating corruption within corruption. Stereotypically 'good' Military officers are few and far between; most have lost their sense of justice, fixated instead on maintaining a safe quarantine zone at the expense of those who live within Stronghold. There is no freedom of speech, and most fear the Military and their power. There are only a few that are still brave enough to stand up against the regime.
Protection against the virus and Infected is the Military's number one concern, and they will do anything to maintain the quarantine zone that is inside Stronghold. Even if this means killing their own civilians to ensure there is no outbreak inside the walls. The Military is extremely aggressive against Infected as well, and actively hunt down their nests to destroy them. The officers that directly volunteer to be part of these execution squads are often treated most favourably.
"The end justifies the means" is a quote that could be accurately used to describe the Military's rule. Any amount of force used can be deemed acceptable based on the end result. Those that stand in defiance against the Military are either locked away inside the Military Compound to rot away or, most favourably, banished from Stronghold and used as an example. The unlucky ones, such as those accused of being bitten by an Infected, are often put down on the spot as though they're nothing more than an animal. There is no law or sense of justice in Stronghold. Simply put: anyone that angers the Military can face unreasonable punishment.
Even though most of the world is in a destroyed, post-apocalyptic state due to the Infected, Stronghold managed to hold onto some form of society, and along with it some form of economy. Controlled by a dollar-based currency, the economy is mostly used to show the gap between the rich and the poor, and helps the Military to further control its people. Money is earned through businesses that run and keep the city alive, exchanging hands for a variety of different purposes. All transfers are done with cash. The use of cards and banks is non-existent in Stronghold, which helps bring the economy to those living outside the walls as well.
Corporations still exist in Stronghold, even though they operate solely out of the city and can no longer be considered global companies. Most are owned by the Military, and focus on creating and developing technology for use by the Military. Other smaller corporations function as warehouses for creating the necessary supplies to keep society thriving, but only just enough; they do not make a surplus, as to better keep the poor in check. Corporations are responsible for allowing most of society to have a job, as they directly benefit the Military and thus are given greater freedoms to operate. While the rich are afforded most of the luxury in Stronghold, those that run corporations are the ones truly in charge of the economy.
Because of the Military's views towards providing a safe society rather than a prospering one, healthcare fell by the wayside when the Military took control of Stronghold. It's most prominent in the Inner Citadel, catering towards the rich to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. While it is still based on wealth, most civilians living in the rich district can still easily afford the most basic of care. But even that is still too rich for the rest of Stronghold. For those with money, they can get almost any kind of care they need in the Military-run hospitals. Medicine hasn't advanced much unfortunately, and there are things that are still prevalent in society, such as cancer and STIs. The virus is also unable to be treated, even with the most advanced medical care.

Small health clinics dot the poor districts of the city, usually run out of charity by the people that live there. Besides clinics that check for the virus and are Military-run, these clinics run solely on charity and donations, and are often starved of supplies that could be used to treat the sick or wounded. Unfortunately, because of this, free clinics often resort to dealing with the Jabberwockies or even Eclipse to try and get supplies, using what little money they have in return for helping people that otherwise have no Military-run health assistance.
Organ Transplants
One of the most coveted forms of healthcare in the Inner Citadel, organ transplants have surprisingly come a long way. Unfortunately, the aquisition of said organs isn't always such a pleasant manner. Most are sold to doctors in the Inner Citadel from unknown sources, and most healthcare providers simply don't care where the organs come from. As long as they're healthy and able to be transplanted, that's all they truly care about.
Virus Testing
The Military heavily regulates virus testing, and makes it a requirement for everyone living in Stronghold to be checked weekly for the virus. While testing for the virus has come a long way since the intial outbreak, having to change every time a new mutation of the virus is discovered, it still sometimes isn't completely accurate when measuring the levels of infection in a person. Virus testing is also required anytime someone either enters or leaves Stronghold. Those that test positive for the virus upon re-entry are usually simply denied access and banished from the city. Those that test positive inside the city are usually dragged and thrown out; any kind of resistance is usually met with violence.
Classic venues of entertainment almost exclusively exist amongst the rich in the Inner Citadel, as most everyone else is too busy struggling to survive to care about things such as theatre, opera, or other forms of entertainment. However, inside the Inner Citadel, the Military works hard to give the impression that there is nothing wrong in the world There is No War in Ba Sing Se. Because of that, a lively entertainment scene is still very present, put on by rich people, for rich people. Forms of entertainment are of course limited to what is available to create and put on, but as most productions are still funded by dirty money from the Military, there isn't much that isn't available for entertainment in the Inner Citadel.

On a smaller scale around Stronghold, bars, strip clubs, and night clubs still operate and provide entertainment through booze, dancing, and music. These are typically the venues that the more poor citizens head to for fun and to forget about the troubles of their life.
Education is very limited in Stronghold. The Military doesn't deem it a necessity, and as child-rearing is not strongly recommended amongst the poorer classes (or most citizens), there are no publicly-funded programs in place. Even amongst the rich, they usually take it upon themselves to teach their children, the only exception being those that head off to be trained in the Military Academy. Anyone is allowed to join the academy in hopes to one day join the Military, but only those that pass their tests are allowed in. For everyone else, they must learn what they can before being pushed to climb through society on their own.
Being in western North America, the official language used in Stronghold is English. What little education still exists does not teach other languages, as there is no need for it while Stronghold remains cut off from the rest of the world. That being said, many people living in Stronghold have different mother languages, or speak multiple languages, and through passing these languages down from parent to child, it's not uncommon to run into people speaking something other than English.
With people perishing every day from either lack of proper care or from Infected attacks, it's no surprise orphanages are an important part of society for taking care of children without parents. There are two main types of orphanages in Stronghold: those run by the poor based off donations, and those that are Military-run. The ones that are run by the Military are usually the ones that take in children with no parents, with the intention that once they're old enough, they'll be shuffled into the Military academy to hopefully one day join the Military. While seemingly generous on the surface, the purpose of these orphanages have a much darker take: training children from a young age to obey the Military without question.
Marriage simply isn't something that's important to the Military: there are no benefits offered by it, and certainly no benefits for couples thinking about having children. While there is still the requirement to register properly with the Military when married (most likely to throttle weekly supplies if deemed necessary), they otherwise do not have a hand in what happens between individuals. This means that marriage between people of the same sex, or even polyamorous marriages, are all accepted in Stronghold.