Frostpunk 1914: The Great Thaw


Major Countries of the Great Thaw

The British Commonwealth

Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland paid every expense in secret, even auctioning away the Crown Jewels, to design and build the Generators in the Russian far north should evacuation of Britannia become necessary. However, as chaos and lawlessness spread in the empire and at home, the first emergency decrees prioritized the protection of refugee fleets sailing to more tropical destinations overseas. Colonial governments in Africa, the Americas and Australia were already responding to the Great Frost in a number of ways, some shutting down migration, some rapidly making use of the new labor while it was available. In general, abuse of native populations, inter-colonial violence and starvation was widespread. The most successful administrations ruled with a quick and firm authoritarian impulse.

When radio contact with the British monarchy was finally lost, these survivors, still clinging to life, remained in contact with each other. Cannibalism, indentured servitude and slavery became routine. The Royal Navy was still intact, though, providing significant military and technological assets. Trade facilitated the import of new plants and animals from the North which assisted with ecological redevelopment. Eventually, through extreme depopulation and the development of industrial agriculture, the territories began to produce enough food to maintain population growth. Representatives met during the 1894 Inter-Colonial Conference to hammer out the Lagos Declaration for a Provisional British Commonwealth. Slavery was officially re-abolished shortly thereafter, with full emancipation taking several years.

With the beginning of the Great Thaw and the further retreat of the sea ice in the equatorial regions, trade and migration has increased dramatically. Contact was re-established with British Iceland and even the Glorious City of New London. The first explorers and diplomats have suggested new technological wonders and thriving settlements in this region. Meanwhile, new Commonwealth colonies have been established in Old London and the Great Northern Coalfield to begin the resettlement of Great Britain. Additionally colonies overseas have been planted in Australia, Brittany and Southern Africa. Much of their attention is on maintaining British control of Eastern Iceland as well as investigating whether their former countrymen in the "United Territories of New London" intend to be friends or foes.

Largest Settlements: Freetown, Kingston, Lagos, Nassau, St. John, White Cape

The Iron Cross Confederacy (Texarkana)

The Great Frost wreaked havoc on the climate and economy of the American South for a long time before the bureaucrats in Washington DC and the northern industrialists also began to panic. Many crops were destroyed by early frosts, driving precarious communities of white debt peons, former Confederate soldiers and restless sharecroppers even deeper into the poverty that was still widespread in the region ever since the end of the American Civil War. Workers were seizing workplaces, landlords were being lynched and riots were engulfing entire cities from Charleston to Houston before the Cleveland administration even began to formulate serious plans for national survival. The reality was that the economy, based on trade and agriculture, had collapsed and refugees were incoming from all directions. As news of sharecropper's revolts started to come in from the Eastern Seaboard, the rebellion of the poor whites in Texas seemed only logical, despite the fact that sharecropping wasn't as prevalent in the state and there weren't even that many black-skinned freedmen in the state at all.

Early "New Confederates" dressed in their former uniforms or the regalia passed down to them by their fathers and grandfathers. Religious zealotry reached a fever-pitch and was mixed frequently with promotions of white supremacy. By the time the Second Secession Convention was held in Austin, local militias in cities and towns throughout Texas were already locking down border towns and hoarding food. The government initially called itself a Republic, but its takeover by military elements after the evacuation of Houston reduced its own name to simply a public fantasy. To survive the first winter of the Great Frost, the restoration of the institutions of both indentured servitude and racial slavery was immediate. Episodes of cannibalism, however, went beyond the pale and caused a religious backlash. Evangelical Christianity of the charismatic, pentecostal variety became extremely popular. To show that they were more "righteous" than their neighbors, they even "abolished slavery", replacing it with a bond system in which freedom could be earned over years of hard labor. Non-believers, Catholics and other poor souls join many black folks in the mines and hothouses. The bondmasters, though, are all white.

When their neighbors to the east consolidated into the Colored People's Republic, the Texans immediately saw them as an existential threat. Cannibal gangs and slave raids into Arkansas over the next couple years prompted mobilization of military conscripts and escalating warfare. Towns and communities to the north as far as Oklahoma City and to the west as far as Albuquerque received visitors from afar and were often terrorized into submission. Colonies were settled wherever coal could be found and even the Amarillo helium mines were tapped for airship construction. The New Austin Declaration of 1892 re-established republican norms with an electorate reduced to only lawful, God-fearing white men that have completed military service. The Iron Cross Confederacy, also known as Texarkana, nominally provides autonomy to its several states, but in practice most of its power is still centralized in the capital of New Austin.

Largest Settlements: Fort Sibley, New Austin, New Richmond, Palestine, St. Charles, Sulfur Springs

The Colored People's Republic (New South)

When the Great Frost started to ruin crops throughout the American South, the black sharecroppers were some of the first people to go hungry from the food shortages. Many had not seen any increase in their quality of life since the end of the American Civil War and their emancipation from slavery. Revolts and racial violence started that summer and by the time the fires subsided and the frost descended, the landscape had been terrorized worse than even what they had seen during the last war. Hungry families fled to the west and to the south even as new refugees swarmed into the region from the northern cities and from Latin America. It was in this chaos that cadres of black revolutionaries took advantage of their superiority in numbers and established a new order for protection and survival. When the Cleveland administration abandoned Washington DC for New Philadelphia in the far northwest, many Northern soldiers abandoned their posts and gave these rebels the opportunity to seize large numbers of weapons and supplies. They quickly made alliances with former unions, immigrant groups and even criminal organizations to bolster their ranks as they fought to purge the Ku Klux Klan resistance from the land.

The initial bases of power of the the new CPR regime were in coal mines and factories that had been seized by freedmen and former sharecroppers. Soon, however, it was the slavers that became the backbone of the economy, especially since cannibalism during the first winters was rampant. As white slaves became more scarce, the most successful enterprises were those that cracked the whip as often as they passed out sufficient food rations and operated obedient workhouses. Expulsion of the First Nations from Texarkana and news of rising white supremacy led to nation-building at home. The 1898 New Atlanta Convention established a country where cannibalism was once again prohibited, but where chattel slavery of white people in specific circumstances was constitutionally protected, if not common across the country. Most free white families are treated as second-class, are actively encouraged to emigrate and are strictly barred from voting in the elections that happen once or twice in a decade.

Many of the First Nations have returned to their former homelands in the east where they were promised autonomy, but they are still obligated to meet conscription requirements and a number of other stipulations. The relationship with other refugees is tenuous at best and manufacturing is lacking in quality. In practice, cannibalism is still widespread as the ecological devastation was exceptional in this region and technical expertise to develop new food sources is lacking. At least the weather is mild and occasionally the sea ice recedes, allowing for fishing expeditions. There's also plentiful coal and iron mines in the region. Unfortunately, frozen forests have begun thawing, forcing the new country to rely on their mines and insulated wood farms for building resources.

Largest Settlements: Bookerton, Douglass, Echota, New Atlanta, New Tuskegee, Steamtubs

France Outremer

The Third French Republic dedicated a number of committees towards evacuating French citizens to areas in which they could survive and outlast the Great Frost. Unfortunately, even the most dire predictions of French scientists concerning the new ice age did not come close to the actual level of global cooling that they experienced. The colonial projects of "France Arctique" in the Russian far north were unfortunately not completed with the same quality of their British equivalents and quickly failed, although in the years that followed many of their underground towns and railway tunnels were re-occupied by the explorers of New London.

In the end, Generator designs and technological prototypes shared by Her Majesty's Government were wasted. Instead, before its relocation the French Republican government in Paris ordered emergency decrees prioritizing the migration of French citizen to their colonies overseas, in particular Algeria and West Africa. The French Navy concentrated in the North Atlantic as their colonies further afield collapsed and the sea ice spread. To save the coal, many of their ships were beached and without a robust network of radio towers, many of their settlements, teeming with refugees, fell out of contact with one another.

The chaos never truly subsided over the next couple of decades. France Outremer is a large and powerful country nevertheless, especially once some of its naval ships were unfrozen, repaired and refueled. The French-speaking world continues in a state of political confusion as there are a number of different factions and regimes that work in competition with one another for legitimacy. As the French remain gridlocked in their attempts to stitch together a functional government, they have at least maintained trade and have spread steam engine technology throughout Africa, as well as Arctic plants and animals. This has helped them keep starvation at bay as well as cultivate a sense of national unity. Despite the mild weather in their lands and the prohibition of slavery, convicts are conscripted for long periods of forced labor or military service and Catholic social norms are often enforced with threats of mob violence.

Largest Settlements: Abidjan, Cayenne, Dakar, New Algiers, Rabat, St. Louis

Swiete Cesarstwo Europejskie (Imperium Stokalskiego)

When the Great Frost descended upon Europe, the Kingdom of Poland had spent the last several decades industrializing and militarizing with British and French investment and technical assistance . Technocrats and military experts were already running the royal government in Warsaw by the time the country started to starve after crops suffered mass failures. Unfortunately, rumors of British and Russian national programs to build enormous Generators in the far north around which refugees could be settled remained rumors to most of the public, who largely decided to immigrate in all directions. While much of the Polish nobility held out for a chance to evacuate on French trains to the Arctic and much was done to build railways for this purpose, when Warsaw fell into irrecoverable anarchy, the options for national survival were limited. The Royal Polish Army, trained for years to plan for wars with Germany and Russia, looked abroad and set their sights on the bloody quagmire that the Hungarian War was already becoming.

The German Confederation had invaded the Kingdom of Hungary early, as soon as the uprisings in Berlin and Vienna escalated after summer food riots. They had had relatively tame relations with the Hungarians for decades, but decided to go to war in reaction to reports of executions of German refugees. The Romanians and Serbs joined in the attack, eager to retake former territory and secure new coal mines and hot springs. Before long, the Bloody Battle for Budapest became a conflict between many sides that ended in massacre more often than resolution. The Royal Polish Army knew they would have one chance to secure victory if they also entered the fray and so they waited until the last possible moment to launch their offensive, with the cities of their homeland being crushed by snowstorms behind them.

The Poles had a highly mechanized and highly trained military force at their disposal and they spared no one. Military planners were clear from the beginning of their intervention that theirs would be a battle for the survival of the Polish nation. In the end, their armies spilled enormous amounts of blood and oil and it all drained into a noxious stew for the Queen of the Danube. Yet the cities of Buda and Pest warmed with the thermal aquifers beneath the river... well, it was warmer than anywhere else at least and they had confiscated large caches of supplies. With the winter storms surrounding them, radio contact was lost with the royal government and so the Polish officers with their war machines turned to the most revered among them for leadership: General Jakub Stokalski. At first, General Stokalski's reign was purely motivated by survival. He set his forces out to repair mines and factories, clean the streets of Budapest, re-house refugees, conscript workers and ration supplies. In time, as hope for contact with Polish nobility dwindled, he began taking the law into his own hands.

During the height of the first winter, the former General of the Kingdom of Poland crowned himself emperor as Napoleon had done decades before. He did so not for a single country, but for the entirety of Europe. Stokalski claimed divine right to rule the continent after paying a "blood price" in his conquest of Budapest, the Heart of Europe, during the "Last War". He immediately ordered the construction of propaganda offices, guard towers, prisons and other infrastructure for an impromptu state based on the existing military hierarchy. Prisoners of war were sentenced to forced labor and conscription for an undetermined amount of time. Coal was rationed for strictly military purposes and was mined wherever it could be found. Despite their neglect, thanks to the many hot springs and geothermal zones in the area, civilians were able to survive at a much higher rate than in other areas. Despite these advantages, burning coal for factories and large heaters for residential areas was still necessary for survival.

Since the declaration of a "Swiete Cesarstwo Europejskie", a Holy European Empire, the Stokalskiego armies have diversified with fresh conscripts even as their war machines have degraded. They aren't even able to manufacture as many rifles and bullets, so short swords, spears and repeating crossbows are now a prevalent sight. Their limited military forces were able to capture the ruins of Old Berlin, conquer the coalfields of Ukraine and seize the territory of the Republics of Athens and Ploesti. The aging Emperor Stokalski rules from his gleaming, steaming capital with an iron fist and no regrets. His sons and daughters plan for his eventual demise while the survivor communities of the countryside, far from the best geothermal sites, suffer from rampant malnourishment and exploitation at the hands of Polish officers-turned-aristocrats. Much of the empire is an empty, frozen waste filled with the snow-blasted cities of the dead.

Largest Settlements: Kolonia Berlinska, Kolonia Wiedenska, Krolewiec, Nowa Warszawa, Nowy Stambul, Swiety Budapezst

Novum Imperium (Nuova Cartigine)

The young Kingdom of Italy fractured early during the Great Frost as cities began to reject national oversight and set their own laws to control the influx of refugees and ration food and coal. The Italian elites departed quickly and it wasn't long before the government dissolved outright. With little support or guidance, millions of Italian families, as well as soldiers, mercenaries, merchants and mafiosos sailed for the Libyan coast or even further to the Horn of Africa. In some places they deferred to local authorities and attempted to provide value to communities they hoped would give them safe refuge. In others, they conquered existing governments and set up their own.

As Europe was evacuated and the first winter descended on the African coastlines and Sahara Desert, there was little food or wood, but at least the weather was relatively mild. Running out of bullets and gunpowder, Italians made spears or refashioned old weapons into swords. With little technical expertise among them, they quickly returned to more medieval ways of life. Cavalieres roamed the snowy deserts looking for food and warmth until they found an oasis to help protect or ate their horses, whichever came first. Families and communities that were more successful at defending their new homes gained the nickname of "Le Reali" (the royalty). African farmers made pledges of fealty to Italian gunslingers. Outward showings were made during the daytime of pomp, frills and ceremony while at night, human beings were butchered for their meat in villages throughout the desert.

This restoration of the symbols of the past reaches a new level of progression when cavalieres meeting in Nuova Cartigine elected, then crowned a general of the old kingdom, Luigi Cadorna, as their new emperor and the successor to the last Byzantine monarch, Constantine XI. At first the regime could not extend its control beyond Tripoli and Tunis, but eventually, the surviving Italian-speaking communities of the Sahara Desert rallied behind them and their expansionistic vision. While the leadership of the New Empire claims legitimacy based on heritage of Byzantine and Roman rights, in reality their mostly feudal society was built ad-hoc and bears little resemblance to old systems of rank and process. Slavery has been re-institutionalized and individuals of all races can be seized and sold at slave markets to the free citizens of the empire. Yet the desert blooms, as the snow and rainstorms practically never end and the Sahara has drank deep in the meltwater as it hasn't in millennia.

Largest Settlements: Cagliari, Cufra, Fezzania, Tripoli, Tunis, Nuova Cartigine, Palermo, Porto Vesuvio

Al-Mamlakat Alhura (Masreeyeen)

The Egyptian Arabs had already had a challenging decade when the Great Frost struck, after being invaded by the British Royal Navy following a series of nationalist revolts. Crop failures and flooding of the Nile River causes rampant chaos and new conflagrations of violence. Eventually, the foreign armies fell or withdrew and all that was left were the mobs, free of British and Ottoman rule, but too inexperienced to manage a new country during a global calamity.
What saved the Nile Delta was the mild weather, the plentiful water of the "Father of African Rivers" which never did entirely freeze over as well as the high numbers of people. Cannibalism was widespread during the first winter and led to a rapid proliferation of new cults and religious manias. In the year after, many of the El-Masreeyeen gladly took on the new label of "El-Farun" or the "Pharaoh's People". The label remains controversial among the surviving Muslim and Christian communities Yet, the practice and identity spreads. Ritual sacrifice replaced vulgar human-hunting in the candle-lit dark of the Pyramids of Giza. The old priesthoods have regained power they hadn't held for generations.

Eventually, the deserts started greening during the summer, sea ice disappeared from the Mediterranean Sea, new plants and animals began to spread and cannibalism began to be suppressed. Ritual sacrifice continued to be tolerated in many forms, but the high importance of labor caused it to decline. Slavery returned to normalcy. The El-Masreeyeen call their country "Al-Mamlakat Alhura" (The Free Kingdom) but it has no government, instead each city rules itself or has a number of factions.
Trade and immigration is frequent, but under armed guards. Boats navigate up and down the Nile River once again, but there are more river seals than hippos these days. The expansion of the Novum Imperium into their borderland has focused attention on the need for some national unity, but religious violence is a continuing challenge. A number of death cults have emerged in prominence within Old Cairo, its acolytes wear masks of Anubis who terrorize beleaguered royal bureaucrats in the streets late at night. Despite its decades of success, the great city is a powderkeg and every kingdom to the east of the Suez Canal knows it.

Largest Settlements: Alexandria, Old Cairo, Medina, Memphis, Suez

Osmanli Hijaz

The bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire moved quickly to relocate to Medina when it became certain that the blizzards from the Southern Hemisphere would continue to intensify. They had little reason to believe their withering military forces would be able to make a bid for Budapest for the War in Hungary or that they could send expeditions to any of the other steam-powered sanctuaries secretly being established by European empires in the far north. The mood in Istanbul quickly darkened and most of those who did not immediately embrace death decided to take God's road to the Prophet's city.

Because of this early decision, the Ottoman imperial administrators were able to shut down a great deal of refugee movement to the south, even though that plunged their neighbors into a state of war with the teeming abandoned Arabs, Syrians and Turks. From the Hijaz, the old bureaucrats and their military forces made quick allies with radical imams that could help them fashion a new order. Shariah law was put to the use of the existing state with a hidden objective to save the caliphate at any cost. The ummah must survive. But, when immigrants did arrive, those with the right skills were inducted into exploitative roles, while Muslim or not those who had none were press-ganged into forced labor or imprisoned.

Eventually, there were no more refugees and much of the callousness of the early years was erased from the imperial records. Mild weather, relatively saline water in the Red Sea and a constant stream of religiously-devoted refugees and pilgrims allowed the "Osmanli Hijaz" to survive the decades that came after. Three years ago, the Hijaz government even organized an international conference for the governments of surviving Muslim countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Sokoto Caliphate. Their focus on internal matters has promoted social cohesion as well as industry, while the increased precipitation has helped them expand agricultural zones. The often clear Red Sea is a boon for fishermen and traders alike. The desert of the Holy Cities is blooming, but only God knows what the future holds. Many are concerned with the expansion of the Novum Imperium to the west. Should Old Cairo fall, who was to say where next the legionnaires would march?

Largest Settlements: Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Tabuk, Yanbu

Mamaleke Mahrusee Iran

The "Guarded Domains of Iran" had long promoted and enforced a rigid concept of national unity in their fortress-like mountain ranged before the beginning of the new ice age. Their advantages for the global calamity were both cultural and geographic. The capital of Tehran, unfortunately, had to be evacuated, but the Iranians had many valleys to house their people. What they did not have was coal to heat them or food for the long winter. The imperial government turned a blind eye to cannibalism for years before beginning to punish it again without a word of reference to the practice.

Eventually, the sea ice retreated, birds returned to the mountains and the deserts bloomed. Fisherfolk returned to the sea and trade picked up once again. Hardy crops are grown in insulated valley farms. Most of the easily accessible trees have been cut down. There's a long way to go to industrialize this land, but the Iranians are luckier than most. Caravans returning from Romanov Baghku have increased interest in the possibility that the oil fields there might be seized by military force, or at the very least that food and metals can be traded for petroleum. The royal government, however, has another priority: the reconstruction of Tehran and the restoration of their old borders. There's extensive coalfields in the north that still need to be exploited.

Largest Settlements: Bandar Abbas, Kirman, Langeh, Mehran, Shiraz

The United Territories of New London

For months after the beginning of the Great Frost in the northern hemisphere, the British people and Her Majesty's Royal Government held out hoping that extreme temperatures would subside and that life would continue as normal. Official news reports were adamant that emergency measures were temporary and that civilians had to only maintain their composure and everything would be fine. In private, however, under their front group the Imperial Exploration Company, the royal government spared no expense to design and build the Generators in the Russian far north, intent on evacuating as many souls as could be sustained there during the end of the world. As rioting and cannibalism intensified within the capital, finally the orders were given for Army captains to load their dreadnoughts with refugees and set out towards the cold north.

When refugees first reached New London, some of the Generators had already been populated and the first towns built around their life-giving heat plumes. However, these advanced machines were experimental and in many cases their construction had been rushed. It had not been possible to transport sufficient replacement parts or even enough engineers with working knowledge of these machines. Accidents became inevitable for some Generators and as the Great Frost intensified during the winter of 1887, cessation of their heat production could mean freezing death in a day or two. The settlements of Tesla City and Winterhome were two such colonies that collapsed catastrophically for such reasons and when explorers from New London found them, they had become mass grave sites. It was the mass distress of discovering that they may have to survive the new ice age alone that drove the hundreds of refugees of New London to establish a new authoritarian system of government under the direction of their military leaders.

Yet the "Frostland" as many called the region was not empty, even after the "Great Storm" which passed directly over New London and plunged its population into freezing temperatures never before experienced on Earth by human beings. Many Generators had been built by the Imperial Exploration Company and many ships had carried refugees north to build the "Last Cities" around them. The poor souls that found refugee at these sites mined coal around the clock as their main source of energy, grew crops inside insulated hothouses and rapidly developed new technologies. They used electric beacons lifted up by hot air to signal to far-away scouts at first, then built radio towers to maintain contact with their neighbors over the long-term. New London even discovered within the ruins of Tesla City the means and machinery to produce new steam cores to aid their expansion of industry. With ample sources of coal and iron, as well as scores of the British Empire's brightest engineers, the city of only several hundred inhabitants was even able to manufacture automatons powered by mechanical calculators.

In time, the airships and radio towers of New London brought them into contact with the Stokalskiego Empire, which only served to reinforce their totalitarian regime under the "New Order". Early policies to provide autonomy to settlements outside of New London were rolled back, with detractors and rivals for power imprisoned and executed en masse. Entire populations were shuffled around the United Territories to maintain peace and suppress dissent. Information was controlled with an iron fist and propaganda became ubiquitous. Snowcats and airships were mass produced to ferry soldiers across the snow-blasted wastes should war ever come to the Frostland. Rifles and grenades were mass produced and impromptu militias were trained from scratch. When the New Londoners re-established communication with Romanov Baghku, much of the motivation to reverse engineer their petroleum technology was to prepare for the possibility of total war.

Yet, in 1914, it still does not seem like there's any sign of a military offensive from Swiety Budapeszt. The armies of the New Order languish and the high cost of raising them has agitated the industrious survivors that have settled the far north. Contact with the British Commonwealth and news of the War in Iceland has tempted New London to set its sights towards a far different potential enemy...

Largest Settlements: Hephaestus, Legacy, New Liverpool, New London, New Manchester, Sanctuary, Steamgardens, Winterhome

Romanov Baghku (Romabaku)

The Russian Empire under the conservative Emperor Alexander III was slow indeed to fully realize the implications of the beginning of a New Ice Age than other European powers, but benefited from one crucial advantage. Early on with the formation of the Imperial Exploration Company, the British Foreign Ministry identified the regions on Earth most suitable for constructing Generator-Cities for the purpose of acting as destinations for refugees should the Great Frost intensify. Despite the decades-long Great Game between the Russian and the British empires, even the Foreign Minister had to accept the fact that the Russian far north had the most advantages in this potential extinction-level scenario, with substantial coal reserves, iron deposits, even oil wells for future development as well as prodigious forests and Arctic wildlife that had the highest chances to survive. They made the Russians an offer they could not refuse.

So it was that the Russian government in the summer of 1887 began to implement their own emergency plan. With the British generator designs intact and even some scientific advisors from London assigned to St. Petersburg, construction projects began immediately in only five locations... all relatively close to urban centers in contrast to the IEC's strategy: Archangelsk, Baghku, Kiev, Sevastopol, Tula. Emperor Alexander III was slow and so was the rest of the imperial bureaucracy, to say nothing of the workers who boasted that all the other European nations were panicking over simply a bad winter in the southern hemisphere. By the time the Romanov family and their royal court had been evacuated to Archangelsk, Moscow wasn't the only place that was obliterated. The Generator site near Kiev had been overrun by a worker's uprising who claimed they could build the rest of the device with their own engineers. It exploded a few weeks after beginning operation. Tula took on too many refugees and its Generator malfunctioned without the means of repair, so the refugee camps starved and froze.

Arkhangelsk harbored the Romanovs through the first winter, but it wouldn't for the second. The inhabitants of the Generator-heated refugee camp, many of them who had never even heard much about St. Petersburg let alone see the place, finally decided to evict the royal family who ate too much, worked too little and asked too often of them. Surviving troops could not control the mobs, then suffered from revolts from within their own ranks. The device was destroyed during combat by a damaged automaton, exploding in the end. A small detachment with the royal family fled to the South and over the months survived thanks to good fortune and epic feats in the pursuit of survival. By the time they reached Sevastopol, the city was under siege by Stokalskiego forces, forcing them to head to Tula, where they found only more of the dead. Baghku was the last hope of the Romanov family and their most devoted supporters.

It was there in the capital of Azerbaijan with its oil wells in sight on the frozen lake illuminated by giant arc lamps that the Romanovs, after a long expedition found that that the city had survived. Conditions were mild, the people were optimistic, food had been stored, and the Russian Army was in control, awaiting further instruction. The long year had been so difficult, however, that the Arrival of the Romanovs was welcome with enormous festivities even though most of its people had been colonized by the forces led by the Russian nobles. In time, the Romanovs proved to be benevolent and shrewd leaders. It was a boon that the twenty-year old visionary Crown Princess Xenia soon took her father's crown, as Alexander had been a frustrating leader to the military forces charged with his protection. It's still not known if the deceased Emperor was poisoned or if he had frozen to death after a long night of heavy drinking. Nevertheless, despite doubts from the military elite, with few other options his eldest daughter assumed leadership of the city.

Baghku or "Romabaku" as it is sometimes called with sarcasm is draped in Russian imagery and culture, but underneath the surface the Muslim Azerbaijani culture is noticeably present. Mosques are built next to cathedrals and universities. Workshops and hospitals have been built near enclosed gardens and palaces. The Romanovs were forward-thinking and fair in their treatment of their new compatriots. Unfortunately, while oil was plentiful and could be used in braziers to heat buildings and the weather was mild, coal was not available to be mined in large amounts in the region. The Romanovs were forced to direct and oversee the creation of far-off outposts as far as Guryev and Rostov-na-Donu to maintain the import of sufficient coal for their Generator, upon which they depended for industrial development. Heated roads with shelter outposts were built to facilitate the supply.

These outposts were made redundant when Russian engineers further developed petroleum refining and electrical infrastructure. Although it is still a closely-held state secret, in the last few years the Baghku Generator has been running principally on oil itself, not coal. Tsarina Xenia is consumed with his vision of the entire Russian empire reborn using this new technology. Unfortunately, her birthright is divided by scattered factions and has been extremely depopulated by the New Ice Age. Airship explorers from the "United Territories of New London" have proven to the Romanovs that the world is becoming a small place once again and that hiding is no longer an option. Older now and with a crippled son whose genius is a welcome image for propagandists, now with decades of leadership experience in the Frostland, the Romanov empress dreams of new glory. Returning the old favor of giving her British rivals the designs for petroleum technology is all part of the plan.

Largest Settlements: Astrakhan, Baghku, Guryev, Rostov, Yeni Sumqayit

(to be continued...)
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This looks very interesting! So I'm guessing the premise is a sudden and brutally swift plunge in global temperatures at some point after 1870 (judging by the references to the Third French Republic). I'm also reading the title 'The Great Thaw' to mean that by 1914 temperatures are starting to rise again?

Looking forward to learning more about this world. The Vancouver Colony and the New American Union sound intriguing, also nice to see Switzerland has survived (if I'm reading the map and the word Eidgenossenschaft correctly).
This looks very interesting! So I'm guessing the premise is a sudden and brutally swift plunge in global temperatures at some point after 1870 (judging by the references to the Third French Republic). I'm also reading the title 'The Great Thaw' to mean that by 1914 temperatures are starting to rise again?

Looking forward to learning more about this world. The Vancouver Colony and the New American Union sound intriguing, also nice to see Switzerland has survived (if I'm reading the map and the word Eidgenossenschaft correctly).
Yes, specifically the Great Frost strikes in 1887, causing the New Ice Age to set in after a series of huge debilitating blizzards. It looks like the sequel to Frostpunk will have continued brutally low temperatures...

But in my scenario, by 1914 the equatorial oceans have been mostly freed from sea ice and the entire world is slowly starting to warm up. This, of course, in the true grimdark fashion of the series, only tempts power-hungry forces to lunge into total war against their rivals in order to assure their dominance and survival.
Settlements of the New London Territories by Population
More than 75% of the total population of the United Territories of New London is urban, with inhabitants surviving thanks to life-saving heat of enormous steam-powered Generators. Many of the larger cities have ceilings and walls made of steel and glass to prevent the loss of heat. Some smaller settlements The best estimates of the Office of the High Protector in New London is that their territories, however extensive, are called home by barely more than 20,000 souls. The majority of the New Londoners originate from families that once lived in the largest cities of the British Isles before the Great Frost. There are also many Americans that crossed the sea from New York City and New England on permits from the Imperial Exploration Company, most of which were associated with the visionary company Tesla Manufacturing. The other ethnic groups comprise of Karelians, Slavic Pomors, the Nenets and the Komi tribes that found shelter in the Generator-Cities of the United Territories.
  • New London (2,368)
  • Sanctuary (1,842)
  • New Manchester (1,637)
  • New Liverpool (1,585)
  • New Glasgow (1,422)
  • Legacy (1,278)
  • Steamgardens (1,084)
  • Winterhome (875)
  • Hephaestus (852)
  • New Birmingham (802)
  • New Leeds (628)
  • New Sheffield (610)
  • New Westminster (591)
  • New Bristol (482)
  • Normandy Base (429)
  • Victoria (413)
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