Our official lore provides the foundation from which both our world and your characters are built upon. We consider this the minimum amount of reading required to familiarise yourself with our timeline. If you (or your friends) choose not to read this, you may struggle to create an accurate backstory or answer questions during the whitelisting process. It should take you around 10-15 minutes to read this page in its entirety.
Like much of this ambitious project, whilst this part of the lore may be "finished", our lore as a whole is still very much a work in progress. Expect to see links to supplementary lore littered throughout this as our Archives grow. Though these additional lore pages will not be required reading, they will cover specific events, places, people, and stories that many of you may find intriguing. By the time our lore is completed, we will have created a wiki-esque maze of information to explore and lose yourself within.
“To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.”
In 2018 the scientific community moved the doomsday clock - that is, the likelihood of our nuclear Armageddon - to two minutes prior to midnight. This marked the closest the clock had been to our rapture since the Cold War... but with what would come in the 2020s, the clock simply stopped moving altogether. Tracking the innumerable provocations, the endless wars, and the ensuing nuclear arms race between Russia, China, and the United States would have pushed us past midnight long ago.
In that sense, we were always living on borrowed time. And eventually, humanity paid its debt.
It began in Beijing, China. In 2022, the untimely death of President Xi Jinping left China in a state of shock, mourning, and political disarray. Without a named successor to his reign, the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party raced to fill the power vacuum that opened following his death. Presidential elections were called for the following year, and Zhao Desheng was the man announced victorious; a militant expansionist at heart, he vowed not to rest until China seized its place as the world's preeminent superpower.
Zhao’s attitude and views towards the other global superpowers differed greatly to that of his predecessor, and this new stance meant China was now unwilling to continue supporting a quickly declining Russia. After reaffirming alliances in its Asian sphere of influence, China removed Russia from the Shanghai Pact and adjusted its priorities; three additional aircraft carriers were put under construction, new generation five fighter jets rolled off the production lines, and Chinese foreign military aid outspent US aid in the Pacific for the first time.
When China unveiled new hypersonic missile technology in 2024, the US responded in kind by demoing their experimental X-41 spaceplane, a previously classified project capable of launching hypersonic missiles whilst travelling at speeds in excess of Mach 7. Russia, looking from the sidelines, instead chose to remain silent for now. But they would not be on the sidelines for long. Soon it became clear that the sides were stacking against one another in what amounted to a second Cold War, a new arms race, or perhaps something worse.
China’s chief territorial ambitions lay not in the South China Sea or in the Himalayas, but rather in the North, near its long contested border with Russia. China had owned the region up until 1858, and in 1969 unresolved border issues had nearly brought China and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. Now, as the doomsday clock ticked closer to midnight, China's political posturing indicated their intention of expanding into the region, righting the wrongs committed a century prior. After all, if Russia had taken Crimea just 6 years prior, why should China not reclaim their stolen land, too?
The United States saw a chance to pull a diplomatic coup of its own, and in an effort to avoid what would surely amount to full-scale nuclear war, overtures were made to Moscow with the intention of forming a counterweight to Chinese aggression. Russia was extremely receptive, America lifted her sanctions and re-invited Moscow to the Group of Seven - now, once again, the Group of Eight. Eventually, this culminated in mutual general staff planning between NATO and CSTO (Russia’s NATO equivalent). By the time the NCC (NATO-CSTO Coalition) had been officially formed after over a year of negotiations, a war with China seemed almost unavoidable.
In order to ensure our survival as a species, the NCC developed the Bastion Contingency - an ambitious program which called for the creation of almost 1,000 safe zones littered throughout Russia, Europe, and North America. Each Bastion formed a chain in a supply line spanning almost a quarter of the globe, and were surrounded by thick, lead-lined walls or natural defenses to protect inhabitants from radiation. The NCC dispatched its newly-created Internal Security Forces (ISF) to oversee this task, but many Bastions would be incomplete before the inevitable finally happened.
In the morning hours of 21 April 2027, Chinese troops began crossing the Sino-Russian border en-masse. In order to prevent an effective and immediate response from Russia, China accompanied this move with a salvo of cyberattacks, and Russia plunged into a state of panic when their ICBMs failed to launch. The NCC forces stationed at the border were slaughtered in their droves, and as the might of the Chinese military rained down upon them, we watched. But on the other side of Russia, in Europe, events were underway that would ensure this war would be our last.
It was a Wednesday, and most of Kaliningrad’s half a million inhabitants were soundly asleep. Alerts had been dispatched to all NCC countries, and whilst the careful or paranoid hid in their bunkers, most were content to continue living their normal lives despite the tensions. But for Kaliningrad, this choice would not matter. Just 10 miles (16km) northwest of the city, the greatest act of sabotage ever committed had just been completed. First came a flash, then heat, then death. Shockwaves rippled across the Baltics and in an instant, Kaliningrad vanished.
For Europe and Russia, the explosion at Kaliningrad was a worst case scenario. Mass hysteria and panic started almost immediately as radioactive fallout began spreading in all directions - north into Scandinavia, east into Russia and the Baltics, and south into Germany, Poland, and Czechia. Evacuations throughout surrounding areas began thirty minutes after Russia’s official statement confirmed the “unauthorized detonation” of an experimental 100Mt cobalt bomb being stored near Kaliningrad, and at that, World War III had begun.
After regaining control of their offensive weapon systems, Russia immediately returned fire in nuclear strikes against China; China swiftly responded, launching volleys of missiles against both Russia and the United States. NORAD, who had been at DEFCON 1 since China’s invasion just hours earlier, ensured the mutual destruction of America’s enemies; within minutes their missiles were in the air, and armies, navies, and air forces around the world mobilized in what would surely be our final fight.
Although anti-ballistic missile systems were able to intercept some armaments heading towards key locations and cities, hundreds of locations all across the globe had been hit. Chinese hackers managed to shut down the defenses on the West Coast just in time to wipe everything from Seattle to San Francisco off the map; America’s spaceplane danced in the skies above Beijing at Mach 9, landing successful hypersonic missile hits on a number of key strategic locations.
Even after every missile in every silo had been fired or destroyed, the fight on the ground still raged on. Those lucky enough to have survived the war thus far began the long task of picking up the pieces; even despite the week-long bombardment, our beloved governments would survive… or so we thought. With communications firmly disabled, we were unable to see the bigger picture - at first many assumed it was radiation sickness, but when bedbound patients began running through hospitals attacking people, we knew somewhere, something had gone terribly wrong.
In the months that followed, survivors that had managed to avoid the crazed infected often fell victim to radiation, starvation, illness, and sometimes even other people just looking for some easy loot. Even those within the Bastions from the beginning struggled as supply lines halted and radios fell silent. Without supplies or supervision many fell into anarchy, were overrun by infected and abandoned, or were assaulted by one of the many factions that had formed in the wake of the war.
After a two year lockdown, a cluster of Bastions within Central Europe managed to regain contact with one another. Those in power understood that they were the people in control of the future of civilization, and of the NCC, whose Bastions had become beacons of hope in a sea of despair. Slowly, the ruling class transformed themselves from shepherds to wolves; rules tightened within the Bastions under the guise of “rationing” or “safety” until the only thing that remained were the clothes you wore and the rations you received.
As communication was further reestablished, more Bastions reunited under the NCC’s banner, and with those came more lambs to the slaughter. Those that refused were taken by force, and soon this new NCC had reformed itself into a complex, sprawling byzantine bureaucracy of militaristic totalitarianism that could best be described as a tyranny of the majority. They have no shortage of enemies - from the remnants of China’s vengeful military in the East, to North America’s hundreds or thousands of distinct, splintered groups in the West.
Unfortunately for the NCC, their total resources and manpower can only achieve so much. Recently, they have been forced to fall back on on all offensive fronts, instead consolidating their limited strength in key areas. For this reason, they routinely move their most valuable resource - humans - to areas deep within their territory. Unfortunately for you, that’s exactly where you’re going.
The year is 2040, and Korolgrad, or BKG-023, is your new home. No matter your backstory, whether this is your first step inside a Bastion or you were recently transferred here from another, you are now property of the NCC. Here, the walls that protect you are also your prison, and the hand that feeds will beat you for complaining. In this strict caste system, class and social standing is everything - working within or against the system has its own perks and challenges, but the story is ultimately your own to explore and create.
Welcome to Korolgrad. Welcome home.
* * *
Do I know all of this in-character?
Yes. These events affected people all over the globe.
How am I supposed to write my backstory?
When you first enter the server, you will have "arrived" via train at Korolgrad for the first time. How you got there is up to you; it has been 13 years since World War 3 so you will need to decide how your character has survived this long. You may have sought entry to a Bastion at the very beginning, or perhaps you were recently captured by an NCC patrol and forced into this life. We want you to use your imagination, but we also understand this is difficult without all the specifics.
In short, your task when creating a backstory is to define three things: what you did before the war, how you survived after the war, and how you arrived at a Bastion. The Bastion you first arrived at should not be Korolgrad - you are being transferred from another Bastion to Korolgrad. Expect a full list of Bastions soon, as well as major updates to the world map very soon.
We will be adding to this lore frequently over the coming months, but if you have any questions, head over to the BastionRP Lore FAQ/Questions thread and ask away!
Writing - marvolo, Sylva
Concept - Cipher, Hex, marvolo, Sylva, Strider
Editing - marvolo
Additional thanks to: Jimmy, Covert, Roger
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