These Idyllic States Overview
I’m kicking off the Project with These Idyllic States, a Pulp Serial setting where the Industrial Revolution began much earlier, and has been running unchecked around the world. There are plenty of scientists that have pushed the boundaries of science forward, creating great advancements. Some of those researchers have been unscrupulous, and though they stand like giants across the landscape, the hill they have conquered is made of piled corpses.
Overview: The year is 1870, and the unchecked reign of progress has created a world with great technology in the largest of settlements, but has also subjugated the working class to a life of toil. To the rich, the United States is a land of milk and honey, an idyllic paradise. To the poor, it is simply what it is, a nation struggling to grow and to become an independent power in the face of peers with influence, military might and history. Oh yes, the Old World is much concerned with history. This mad drive for excellence has loosed the wheels of discovery into the hands of the amoral, and the government and the well to do often come across men who have gone too far.
Most dilettantes who adventure often do so in the arena of air travel, a relatively safe but still quite new field. Some find glory serving in the national armed forces, but usually it is not much more than a means to see the nation. Others involve themselves in traveling the world, bringing new discoveries back to the States, or simply attempting to break their own ennui via exposure to the culture of a foreign land. Because of the skirmishes that occur regularly abroad, Americans can be found in the thick of incidents of all kinds.
Those who work for the Service are often exceptional individuals from all areas of the country, hailing from different backgrounds, and possessing different levels of training but a fair amount of experience. The Service was created by the President himself no more than twelve years ago to investigate, curtail and enforce what law exists on the fields of mad science. They are often ordered to seek out the strangest rumors, look into the truth and make sure nothing untoward has occurred in the process.
“Vicious Werewolves! Relentless Walking Corpses! Murderous Mystics! Rampaging Robots! The Service have stopped them all! Up against the creations of Dr. Abraham Odd or the machinations of the Machine Tyrant Zed, the Service is our first line of defense! Inquire about joining today!” – 1866 Recruitment Poster
The Way Things Are: The world is full of technological advancements years, if not decades, ahead of their time according to the history of the real world. Plentiful electricity abounds in large settlements, and gasoline is used to drive all self-powered vehicles. Zeppelins and airplanes are now fairly common sights crisscrossing both the skies above cities and the expanses between them. On the surface it appears to be an ordered society with economic stability and technological wonders on every corner. In reality, it can be a wondrous world, and then you can look only a few blocks away and see that most working men and women are unskilled laborers working in factories, where they sleep and earn a low wage.
Still, war has avoided the fledgling United States thus far since the revolution, and to those in rural areas things continue in much the same ways as they always have, excepting a few advances in firearms and tool manufacturing. While there are harvesting machines, only the rich can afford them, so far away from civilization, the old ways of agriculture and animal husbandry continue relatively unchanged.
The arts of photography and cinematography have advanced to the point that audio-visual recording devices, while uncommon, are portable enough to use for filming or recording events, and radios have become the newest toys of the affluent. You’re nobody without a wireless at home! This is connecting people together in ways that had been undreamt of before.
Unfortunately, not all people are tolerant of their neighbors. The advances in motor and weapons technology have fueled decades of skirmishes between the Old World powers, and led to the founding of the fascist nations of the Metal Empire that rose up in what was Belarus, and Akvoss, or more properly Akwasse, that grew out of the tumultuous rebirth of Germany as a true Empire. These powers have a conquering grasp, towering industries, and a desire to rule. The Metal Empire has been expanding for a decade, taking land from Poland and Lithuania while cementing its borders. Akvoss has limited its expansion, and has instead gathered power and been conducting acts of espionage, and fighting skirmishes. It is only a matter of time however, before the Akvossans spread their control like a shadow over the world.