The year is 2242. Almost two centuries have passed since the world was engulfed in nuclear fire and mankind nearly destroyed itself in an orgy of violence.
Since then the landscape has changed; once great cities now lie in ruin, great monoliths of steel and glass now rusted and claimed by the encroaching wilderness. The area once known as the Pacific Northwest has returned to a pre-industrial state of vast untamed forest and rolling grassy plains, peppered with small enclaves of civilisation.
The lucky few to escape annihilation did so either by virtue of insignificance or by seeking shelter in deeply buried Vaults, small bubbles of pre-war life in the wasteland to come. After decades had passed these two groups came together to forge new communities or preyed upon one another’s weakness. Hobbes could not have known how accurate his predictions have become.
The nuclear winter had terrifying implications here; toxic snowstorms and acid rains scoured the land for years after the Great War. Over the decades since the climate has returned to a level of normalcy with predictable seasons and resolutely poor weather. In Summer the days are long and crops cover the horizon; in Winter snow closes central mountain passes and icy winds leech life from the unwary traveller.
Farther south, in the ruins of California, new authorities have emerged to claim supremacy. While the New California Republic and Brotherhood of Steel control vast swathes of land in the south-west they are little known in the north, and only recently have turned their eyes to the wild lands on their border.