Codex: The Setting


The primary setting of the game is LATMA, the Los Angeles-Tijuana Metropolitan Area, an irregularly but densely settled megacity which stretches down the whole southwestern coast of the former United States.  After the Fall, which caused uncountable casualties, many of the survivors wanted nothing more than somewhere safe to begin living again.  The Consortium stepped in - a shifting coalition of the most powerful corporations, with the most resources to bring to bear on securing their workforce and consumer population.  Together, they stabilized what would become LATMA, creating their own private army (MetSec), establishing farming arcologies, legal precedents, and declaring Order 47 - the law which declares all supernaturals to be nonhuman, possessing no rights or citizenship status, not merely permitted but required to be killed on sight.

That was several decades ago, and while the terror of the citizenship for those creatures has made it the Consortium's most effective club, the source of countless witch hunts, pogroms, and other tools of Consortium power, much else has taken less public precedence - including the provision of food and water to a semi-desert environment and a densely packed population.


The Landscape

Settled LATMA ranges from the heavily urbanized Corporate Center sector to the brutal Tijuana slums.  There are vast chunks of unsettled territory in between, some of it still effectively wilderness (as it was in pre-Fall days).  Outside the bounds of the city proper, much of the land is a waste. The San Onofre Radiation Zone remains largely uninhabitable (and few care to try), and many areas were bombed into useless wreckage during the many anti-supernatural battles.  There are known to be bands of survivors who make their homes outside LATMA, but even the most wretched of the Dark inhabitants of the metropolis are better off than the hardscrabble refugees on the outside.  Water is perpetually difficult to find, food even more so, and then there are the other survivors who want what they have.  Worse, there are unconfirmed but regular reports of... other things... in the wastes, creatures brought to light by the Fall who no longer feel the need to conceal themselves, or who were actually created by the vast supernatural forces released during the war.


While the Consortium might wish otherwise, LATMA is not alone in its survival.  It is, in fact, one of the least powerful surviving domains in the world - the lack of natural resources and general devastation visited on the area have made it into little more than a gathering place for human resources.  However, the Consortium encourages its residents to believe they live in a safe land of civilization and relative plenty.  Compared to some of the other major powers, this isn't necessarily true.

LATMA itself is pinned between two major powers against which it is dramatically understrength: the New Aztec Empire (NAE) which controls everything south of Tijuana, and the Hind-Manchu satellite city of San Francisco, attached to the Hind-Manchu Empire that covers what was once China (and a great deal of the rest of the Asiatic continent).  LATMA's own survival has largely depended on the Consortium balancing these two against each other.

The NAE are known to support public supernatural figures, often brutal creatures who have taken back the Aztec, Mayan, Incan, and other pantheons of old Mexico.  Human sacrifice is well known.  However, they cannot be discounted as savages - the NAE have at least as advanced a technological system as LATMA.

Hind-Manchu presents a far more civilized face, although it, too, supports the public existence of supernatural creatures.  The Beast Courts have a strong presence in Hind-Manchu government, and act as a civilizing force.  Its Oni Accords (legal status for supernaturals) have been a topic of discussion within LATMA, but were largely rejected (often with great prejudice).  Little is known of the true situation in the continental Hind-Manchu, as the most interaction LATMA citizens tend to have with the empire is some familiarity with their assistance in the rebuilding of San Francisco.

Africa is a warzone, its northern parts largely held by Setites, its southern parts by the Ahadi, and the central territories are a wasteland of destruction in which corporations still often hold 'civilized' wars between their technology and their opponents' - war games for the almighty Profit.

Europe destabilized into its individual countries, most of which are still recovering from the wreckage visited by the wars.  There are rumors that the Black Spiral Dancers now rule the bleak remains of Scotland, that Fae dominate Ireland, and that vampires have taken over Russia, but the reality is difficult to establish; few LATMA citizens have the reason or funds to be world travelers, and many of those countries no longer welcome outside visitors.  Australia largely ripped itself to shreds in fighting back against Garou and vampire attacks, and has settled into human and supernatural strongholds, none with enough power to dominate the others - for reasons of its own, the Hind-Manchu Empire's march to domination stopped at Australia's coasts and has not attempted to annex the country.



The 6th Great Maelstrom was triggered by The Fall and continues to rage after all this time, though not quite as strong as during the initial years. Spectres have destroyed many Necropoli and there is no Charon to save the Shadowlands this time. Much of the Shadowlands are overrun.

The Hierarchy is no longer quite the same oppressive power it once was, though it does still hold territory and it does still try to control all wraiths in said territory. Old habits die hard, even in the face of Oblivion.

In LATMA, the Hierarchy is represented by a group of deceased calling themselves Dominion. The Dominion is largely populated by Bright citizens who've passed on and claims Downtown LATMA as its seat of power, a Necropolis named The Spire. It is the last great stronghold in the area, most of the other cities having fallen to spectre assaults and tempest storms.

Rulers of the Dominion are named The Cloistered. They are a small group of very powerful wraiths who, no longer under the boot of a larger Hierarchy, have begun making and enforcing their own laws.

While powerful, even the Cloistered are not enough to throw back the Maelstrom and have brokered secret deals with other factions in the region for mutual survival--Heretics and Renegades who manage to hold other Bright and Grey cities such as Pasadena and Santa Monica.

Dark cities are now the domain of spectres and should generally be avoided by wraiths who don't wish to meet Oblivion.

One location in LATMA has been and remains completely inaccessible to the deceased--wraith, spectre, or otherwise: New Heritage Center. Even the memory of what this place once was cannot be reached in the Shadowlands.