Emberverse Map

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by TheScottishMongol, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Emperor RyRy The Board's Most Active Maoist Banned

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    Yeah, the death zones make no sense.

    Especially California, like, it's far less densely populated than the East Coast and arguably more fertile, after maybe five or so years of riads and tribalism I don't see how the coastal hills and Central Valley wouldn't have big organized states that arose out of need.
     
  2. taylortjc Well-Known Member

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    Sep 8, 2010
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    Michigan
    Well we see from the books that they aren't necessarily death, in the sense that nobody lives there, it's more like there are no civilized nations. However there are still bands of eaters, isolated farms or small towns, but nothing like a large nation state or city state. So they aren't devoid of humans exactly
     
  3. Meatshield Well-Known Member

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    Nov 2, 2009
    Most of Southern California is wildly overpopulated (even the less-populated rural areas) relative to its potable water resources. That alone is going to cause a massive die off....possibly a clean sweep.

    Coastal California is generally densely populated (with a skip of very lightly-populated area above Santa Barbara and below the Bay Area), with three major nodes (LA, San Diego, and San Francisco) that are definitely going to be utterly destroyed....and take a big swathe of the coastline with them (due to excellent major roads leading North and South along the coast).

    The lightly populated areas with access to water have the opposite problem, ironically. With the population low enough to scrape through (food-, social order-, and water-wise)...you have the danger that the community lacks sufficient division of labor or the right skillsets to prevent a secondary catastrophe (in Oregon and Cali, you need medical personnel to head off the Bubonic Plague, which is endemic in ground rodents in the region, for instance). The communities that survive (like in Oregon, but without Norman doing horrible things that enabled larger immediate Post-Change population clusters) are basically the Goldilocks tale made flesh (not too big, but big enough).


    So far, in canon, we have the Barony of Mist Hills (Mendocino County, somewhere in the hills), and Topanga/Chatsworth (who seem to have survived by forting up and beating off the incoming hordes, and hiding up in the hills and waiting for everyone else to die, respectively).
    All things being equal, I would expect a third cluster on the coast (possibly not on the coast-line, though), somewhere in southern Monterey or northern San Luis Obispo counties (very light population density, not too dry, fairly far from LA and SF, etc).


    Inland, there's a bunch of places that could carry a community (in terms of food, water, resources, etc).....and the still very coast-bound Montivallans would have not run into them yet (Topanga, Chatsworth, and the Bnei Yaakov have basically just been contacted in CY 46, and they are all on/near the coast). A Bearkiller-sized state located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevadas would be way off the radar.



    Note that a lot of fairly nice locations are going to be empty (or hosting scattered clans of hunter-gatherers)....because the community that might have otherwise made it through intact, just failed to pull it together or succumbed to a disaster ("Things went well for Mayberry. Until the Fire.....").


    As to the "Death Zones"...you can't draw a radius around a city and call it a dead zone, as refugees don't radiate out from a common center. They follow the roads and the gradient (staying on major roads, and seldom moving uphill). More realistically, there would be "plumes of Death". Everything on an Interstate or major Highway for a 150km from a major city might be overrun and devastated...but a small bedroom community 50km from downtown Atlanta or Denver, sheltered by a line of low hills (or just no major roads) between it and the big city, might never see a refugee.
     
  4. TheScottishMongol Snake Demon

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    And even if there are survivors in a given community, you need a perfect storm for them to survive any Change-related crises (planes falling, trains derailing, water breaking down, fires), getting enough food, having enough skillsets to create a function preindustrial community, not contracting any lethal diseases, and then they need to survive past the first generation. Beyond that they may not have enough resources to sustain their setup. They might end up regressing, or not have enough skills or resources to get past simple farming community.
     
  5. Emperor RyRy The Board's Most Active Maoist Banned

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    I think people wildly overestimate the amount of destruction that is realistic in this scenario. I'm not debating whether or not this happens in canon, but whether or not it SHOULD happen.
     
  6. Meatshield Well-Known Member

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    Nov 2, 2009
    Put it this way, if the pumps stop working, 99.9% of the people in the Los Angeles Metro area are going to be dead inside 7 days. There simply isn't enough water (surface or precipitation) in that area to live off of (unless you are prepared for the necessity in a way that nobody in Change Day LA is going to be).


    The survivors will be either the ones who bug out on C+1 (and don't die on the way to Somewhere Else) or who manage to access food and water unavailable to most people (these are generally folks who are killing other people).

    Even places that aren't built in deserts are unlikely to be able to support even a significant fraction of their pre-Change population. Coupled with the disruption in government (as the Change basically makes everyone who isn't at the office or within a few miles "permanently absent") and Law/Order forces (the Change effectively eliminates the National Guard, for instance, due to the dispersed nature of the Guard's personnel), and the inevitable plagues (Cholera, Typhoid, Bubonic, etc), and the presence of "non-state actors" (people ranging from Norman Arminger to Good Ole Boys to crowds of teenagers)....it's mostly all bad news.


    An event like the Change, which globally* removes (Not "damages". Removes) our structural safety nets that artificially prop up our local carrying capacities will kill more than 9 out of 10 people on the planet. The only places that don't see numbers like (or worse than) that will be those places that are coincidentally on top of the resources necessary to sustain a large fraction of their Pre-Change population....provided they can both get a lid on civil unrest (i.e. someone takes/is in charge, and can get the community working without killing each other) and aren't swamped by a splash from the cities.
    Iowa is the chief example (sufficient carrying capacity, "firm" government, essentially no die-off, but had to block the inflow of refugees across the Mississippi).


    Stirling's two errors were that he (for dramatic reasons) wanted the military (especially the US Army troops at Ft. Lewis) out of the picture, so he has them marching into the cities to die....and he ignored terrain features (other than rivers) and created his Death Zones by drawing a radius around urban areas, like the refugees were a bomb blast. 99% of the human race would die, in the Change, but he (initially, since he seems to be retconning it a lot) was way too pessimistic about whole (large) regions being depopulated with zero civilized survivors. Even places like Germany would likely have a few Bearkiller/McKenzie-sized holdouts (especially given the existence of survivor clusters like Chatsworth, Mist Hills, and the Duke from the Mist Hills short story).



    *-No help comes, from anywhere. A 10.0 that hits LA is awful....but the rest of the Country (and the World) would soon be there to lend a hand and rescue the population. The Change makes everywhere essentially post-Katrina New Orleans, but with zero outside rescue/aid.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  7. Emperor RyRy The Board's Most Active Maoist Banned

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    Exactly! They'd be dead in a few days, then there is more space for those who survived in the Great Valley and Bay Area.
     
  8. Meatshield Well-Known Member

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    Nov 2, 2009
    Who all have similar problems (even in areas with water....you still have to get access to it....same with food), along with overflow from the cities (on bikes, at first, but a fairly sizeable foot column would make it >150km).

    The Bay Area is generally boned. Too many people from SF. Mist Hills seems to have forted up and laid low in the hills of Mendocino (a pretty gnarly hike from SF).

    Again, a lot of otherwise-survivable places are going under because they couldn't revert to 19th-century means of acquiring water or food fast enough. Or they didn't have enough local food crops in the ground and ready to eat. Or they had all their resources stripped to feed refugee camps (which is implied to be what happened to a lot of small communities in Oregon). Or they had a riot and too many valuable things/people were burned/killed. Or they had a disease outbreak. Or. Or. Or.

    One of the nice things about modern civilization is the safety nets (multiple, redundant) that we've installed to counteract all these "ors".
     
  9. taylortjc Well-Known Member

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Michigan
    Exactly! At this point in the story (40years post change) I like to think of the death zones as more of the medieval equivalent of "here be dragons and monsters", that is to say that the outside world at large has no communication with possible holdouts and the odd farm or homestead, bands of eaters and bandits, etc. All of those can most likely be found in the dead zones.

    Also from a literary stand point it gives Steirling a convienant place to pull new groups out of, we also have to keep in mind how short 40 years is, new groups will continuely be popping up now for some time, as the map illustrates there is a lot of unclaimed land as well as with what humanity knows about science, areas will be able to sustain more than actual middle age/renassicence populations
     
  10. Señor Seba'oth New Member

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    Oct 8, 2018
    I'm wondering why is that and what the hell happened to my Paraguayan people being that here the industrialization is scarce, much people have their orchards, fruit plants like passionfruit and mango are basically everywhere, cattle raising is common and practically everyone have machetes and even slingshots are normal to have
     
  11. Peppe Well-Known Member

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    Sep 1, 2017
    Please don't ressurect a thread that hasn't been active since 2015. But your question creates a interesting thought about the destiny of South America in Emberverse
     
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