Based on the recently popular game of Civilization II: [link]
. My version is set on Earth, involves different civilizations, and the climate has taken a turn in the opposite direction. I've also adopted elements of the Mortal Engines universe and A Canticle for Leibowitz.
It is the 41st century. In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. The nations of mankind wage a constant battle against each other for reasons that have been lost to history. Now it is a war for glory, for honor, for vengeance. War is life, and peace can only be found in death.
Legends tell of a time before the War. A time of peace and plenty, a time when mankind first conquered the natural world and built the great machines it now takes for granted. This era ended over two millennia ago, during the Great Flame Deluge. It was the first time humanity unleashed atomic flames upon the world. It would not be the last. The Flame Deluge was followed with five more atomic wars throughout the centuries, each smaller than the last. Slowly the world froze as ash and dust choked up the atmosphere. Much Earth died a slow death by ice and fire, but humanity prevailed.
By the 31st century, after the end of the Fifth Flame Deluge, only three great civilizations remained. In the heart of a continent once called Europe, the mountain men of the Alps descended from their icy vaults to settle the plains before. The Tchviz, as they called themselves, fought and defeated the techno-barbarians and mutated monstrosities of the European plains until they were driven back to the glaciers of the north. By the 41st century, the Tchviz Confederacy is the dominant force in Europe.
Far to the west, where the great empire of Mhyrka once dominated the planet, the remnants of the 28th century thalassocracy of Eirlann united the eastern coast and expanded westward, fighting the cannibal empires of Tiksarkana and the decadent machine-men of Sylkovalya. Using their great tracked fortress-cities, the Eirlann dominated the continent and forged an empire rivaling Mhyrka itself.
In the far east, another force arose from the land of Chosun. After the Great Flame Deluge, the people of Chosun dug miles upon miles of tunnels beneath their mountainous country and opted to hide there until the time was right. Fanatically devoted to the Eternal President, the Chosun people waited for centuries upon centuries. During the 32nd century, they emerged from hiding and saw an empty world ripe for the taking.
By the 33rd century, the world had sufficiently recovered that the ancient horrors of war were coming back. While the last dozen wars were fought with sticks and stones, now the machine gun, the battleship, the tank and the airplane reemerged from the factories. In 3278, the Tchviz, Eirlann and Chosun forged the Steel Pact and sought to carve the world into three pieces, and in 3312 they succeeded and subjugated the world. However, each knew that there could only be one empire on earth, and so the War began.
41st century society would be unrecognizable to a denizen from the old world. There are no more big cities, and most people live as subsistence farmers until they are seized to fight on the front lines. The great tracked cities have been repurposed into factories, existing only to scour the land for resources to create more weapons. These cities normally drive over spent battlefields, collecting metal to build the armies for the next year. War production cannot stop, as that would mean defeat; therefore, even those living in the factory cities are destitute. Talk of peace is treasonous, and deserting from the military is punishable by having one’s entire village conscripted.
Soldiers are equipped with little but a steel helmet and an automatic rifle, and the average life expectancy on the battlefield is fifteen minutes. Great trenches scour the borderlands, and while the great powers have spent centuries trying to break through, they never could. The atom bomb, the invention responsible for the state of the world and the only thing that can end the stalemate, is only used sparingly as uranium is harder to come by. On the front lines, many pray for death so the misery would stop, and their prayers are answered.