Desolation Boulevard

Assume for a moment that not that long ago, the world – for all intents and purposes – died.

How long would it take for you to come to terms with the idea that there were certain things you would never again have the pleasure of experiencing? Certain tastes, certain events, certain places, certain scents or sensations would now, and likely ever after, be a thing of the past; a better past.

If your world is not so much these things, but the people who inhabit the world… or a particular person in whose eyes you make your dwelling place…  if you were to survive the death of that world… how long would it take for you to come to terms with the loss of… everything?

Could you ever achieve it?

Would you even try?

What could make you rise up, and continue on? What could inspire you to go on, seeking life amidst the loss, and dreams in the death and decay?

Once in motion, or at least going through the motions of survival, what would weigh on you? What would pull you down, sink your hopes, and drag you deeper and deeper toward the dark places where even the memories of loved ones fade into distorted visions and fading impressions? How many moldering pieces of brittle bark, blasted from the once proud trunks of towering trees could you chew in place of food? How much bile would you be willing to choke down with a meal of pale grave worms and mud, just to quiet the pain and insistence of a living belly in a dead world?

Once in motion, how long could you stay in motion?

If, in the midst of this shuddering dance of delayed dying and degradation, no face of fellow survivors were seen… what impetus would keep your feet on the shattered paths of former travelers, seeking those who like you, had failed to perish with the world which gave you birth?

What would push you on, were such a fate as this to claim you from your comfortable life and feed you to the desolation of the future?

For those about to play at the apocalypse, of what is your character made, and what – now that all the things which made them what they are have been stripped away – will they become?

The ashes await; for what things will your character wet them with tears?

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2 Responses to “Desolation Boulevard”
  1. morrisonmp says:

    This is a great post. I really started thinking about this — and with the somewhat recent burst of “post-something” sci-fi/fantasy that’s been around, it is an interesting topic.

    I suppose character motivation would be tough in such a setting — especially if you were solo.

  2. Runeslinger says:

    That is very kind of you to say, thanks~

    My group plus a few newcomers will be starting our Desolation campaign this weekend, and I really hope that it can have a distinctly post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Other than keeping the ruination of the world firmly rooted in my descriptions, in my ruminations, I thought the best thing to do was to ensure the characters enter the game world with the players being in the mindset to seek out those things in their own imaginings. That said, I am not looking for a depression parade. I just think for hope to have any impact when it begins to grow, the players and characters should have a sense of the bleakness of the situation, and try to do something with that in terms of shaping the campaign’s point of origin.

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