The Pact of Blood is an alliance formed by Dracula in his quest to conquer the world for vampirekind. Having taken over the British Isles, Dracula sought to expand his power through Europe first, and so aligned his empire with that of his home country of Wallachia. Initially, Dracula also made an alliance with the Russian Empire, which was run behind the scenes by the enigmatic Rasputin, but after the collapse of the Russian Empire, most of the Blood Pact’s war effort has been managed by the British. The United Kingdom under Dracula’s rule is a highly oppressive state, with a vampire upper class ruling over a mass of humans practically enslaved to their vampire overlords, such as Lord Ruthven. Although having the trappings of an industrial society, thanks to arcane science gleaned from Doctor Victor Frankenstein’s studies in Scotland, the United Kingdom is more comparable to a feudal state, where the humans are effectively farm animals. What remains of the British Empire under London’s rule have effectively become farms for unfortunate humans. The British also “enhance” their human soldiers with Dr. Jekyll's infamous formula, turning their soldiers into mindless killing machines. The Australian Federation, managed by the now-immortal Doctor Moreau, is a carnival of biological horrors that seeks to expand throughout the Pacific. Then there is the Serbian Technate, under the rule of the mad scientist, Nikola Tesla, and whose teleforce-armed armies are a fair match to their supernatural opponents.
The Holy League was formed in response to Dracula’s takeover. A coalition of human-led states, the Holy League has become popular throughout the world, even among non-Christian states. There is no one dominant power over the Holy League, although the French and the British exiles are top contenders. Although both ostensibly democratic, the French Republic and the United Kingdom-in-exile are closer to military dictatorships, and are dominated by the Catholic and Anglican churches, respectively. The Kingdom of Italy is an outright theocracy, with the Papacy replacing the Italian monarchy as the dominant force in Italian politics. Aiding the Holy League in the east is the Russian Empire, under the abnormally old Tsarina Anastasia. To the south, the Republic of India remains a steadfast supporter of the Holy League, as League support was critical to overthrowing the vampiric upper classes on the subcontinent and freeing the Indian people from being treated like cattle. Although crushed by various armies at various times, the Austrians remain steadfast in their defense of their homeland, aided by “living saints” that only enhance Austria’s devotion to the Catholic faith.
The Central Powers were initially another human alliance against Dracula, but the intervention of the werewolves changed that. The eternal enemies of the vampires, the werewolves slowly took over the German government, as they promised strength enough to destroy the vampires. While Kaiser Wilhelm II refused this deal, many of Germany’s upper classes accepted, soon forcing these changes on their soldiers. Although they do not turn due to the light of a full Moon, tidal forces do affect the transformation process, making it easier to turn when the Moon is full. The Germans remain autocratic and under the reign of Wilhelm II, although nobody in the general public has heard from the Kaiser since the 1940s. The Germans have fielded what could only be described as demons since then, indicating that perhaps the Kaiser has made a deal and is paying the price personally. The Kingdom of Hungary, which has turned to the worship of a Satanic figure, is a very unpopular member of the Central Powers, and their commitment to destroying the Austrians places an insurmountable wall between the Central Powers and the Holy League. The Dutch were mostly human at the beginning of the Great War, although the constant British invasions have transformed the Dutch state into one which dabbles in the darkest of arts. In Egypt, the mummified armies of the revived Pharaoh Ramses I do battle with the ghost empires of the Middle East and attempts by Dracula to bring Egypt back into the British Empire.
There are also the powers unaffiliated with the Great War, although facing their own problems. The United States, under the Eternal President, Abraham Lincoln, is a necrocracy that seeks to dominate North America with its nigh-inexhaustible undead armies, commanded by the reanimated corpses of generals from both sides of the War Between the States. The first targets of President Lincoln lie to the west: the empires that arose from the chaos of the Indian Wars. To the east, the Japanese Empire remains largely isolated, democratic and human-dominated, although their use of monsters to put down revolts in Korea, attempts to weaponize the various kaiju of the Pacific and use of teenagers as a base for its witch armies do make them questionable. Then there are the ghost empires of the Middle East. Run by the ghosts of long-dead emperors and their closest confidants, these “empires” are primarily composed of humans who have either been tricked or possessed into supporting their “rightful ruler.” These empires normally spend their time fighting one another, as their claims all dispute one another. Most of this fighting is done by humans, as ghosts have as hard a time of interacting with the material universe as humans have of permanently destroying ghosts.
Then there are the mysterious forces independent of any state entity. The Pumpkin Patch, an army of possessed pumpkins in the northern United States, is a strange mix between a cult and a biological infestation. Led by Linneaus the Mad, Prophet of the Great Pumpkin, many have come to worship these vegetables and use them as vessels for evil spirits. The zombie armies of the Union seek to destroy the infestation, but their defenses prove surprisingly capable. The Americans also wage war against the cults of voodoo, whose undead are unrelated to those of the Eternal President and do not decay, and the Ku Klux Klan, an organization dedicated to destroying the occult and restoring the supremacy of the white race. The subterranean trolls and goblins of Europe have taken great advantage of the chaos of the Great War, making deals with warring empires to construct elaborate trench defenses in exchange for rights to human corpses on the battlefield. The gypsies of Europe, persecuted for generations, have managed to survive and in some cases take advantage of the constant war between the supernatural, having a closer connection to the magical than their counterparts. The gill-men of the Amazon, the Congo and Indochina remain fervently neutral, only attacking those that invade their domains. And there are the eldritch revolutionaries, groups of humans worshiping dark and alien gods who wish to drag all of mankind into a soul-rending apocalypse.
Other interesting characters inhabit this strange world. The Phantom, a French assassin, has killed plenty of commanders in both the vampire and the werewolf camps. Larry Talbot, the infamous Wolfman, is occasionally seen serving in both the interests of the Blood Pact and the Central Powers. London is still terrorized by the infamous Jack the Ripper, believed to be a werewolf German agent because of his longevity, tenacity and tendency to target vampire women. And of course, there are rumors that the infamous Victor Frankenstein was not actually killed by his creation, but has somehow unnaturally preserved his life and is waiting to make his move.
I'm guessing Rhodesia got the same treatment as South Africa (i.e. overthow of white vampire rule by fed up to be fed on blacks). Here's hoping Cecil Rhodes got staked, dismembered and left to go poof in the sun.
South America seems deceptively calm apart from the (Inca? Chimu? Nazca? All of the above?) nasties in Peru.
Japan must be mightily annoyed to be blocked in its expansion - Ungern-Sternberg (God's gift to lovers of counterfactual Central Asian wackyness), central China and the South Chinese supernatural state are likely indigestible at the moment, the Jiang-shi are likely too useful as a buffer state, and I'm pretty sure they can ill afford to antagonize the rest of the human-held world, so Siberia, Hawaii and the Philippines are right out. They could have diplomatic relations with New England, though, seeing as both have witches.
And great job with the references, as always.
Very itneresting indeed.
World of Darkness + Masque of the Red Death + even more awesome
Ungern-Sternberg?! Are you insane? He'll kill us all (and I can't blame him, either)!
Ahmed Osman suggested that Ramses I reigned during the Exodus... Speaking of which, do mummies melt when exposed to holy relics? Hmm.
This almost perfect...! I was, however, kind of hoping New Zealand would devolve into a repository of Middle-Earthen principalities - obviously LotR wasn't set there, but it's got me thinking...
Well, only if you read it right. I just have a warped view of all literature!
Finally: has New York had any troubles with the Headless Horseman? Or is he still stuck behind that blast'd bridge?
I especially enjoy the notation for Ireland. Oh God the bees!
Linneaus has become the insane prophet of an vegetable based eldritch abomination? Did you just make Snoopy awesome?
Is the Eternal President based on "a Century Of Broken Peace" or was that a more common idea than I thought?