The Verges Ministry of Public Relations has issued a statement of intent to release a subsequent counter statement to address some of the items listed in the report by the Safety Commission’s Ministry of Public Relations. The Verges Ministry’s counter statement has yet to be released.
Every year, the Commission issues a report on every major region in the continent, which covers the status of economics, politics and governance, health, crime, education, sports, industry, employment, death rates (birth rates were removed from the reports in 1328), geographical concerns, environmental factors, transportation, law, census data, wildlife, flora and fauna, and more. From its findings, it issues an overall score (out of 100 possible), a world ranking, and the percent change, if any.
Like all their reports, the one on the Verges, number SR-761, begins with the standard harrowing introductory prologue, a sort of grim status update, which is intended as a world overview for historical purposes. While the rest of the books are written in a technical style, the prologue has its own distinctly poetic flair:
It is the year 11,336, commonly known as just 1336.
The planet has been in a fast decay over the course of several millenia, near the edge of death. All that remains of it is a small, tired continent. The soil is desolate and refuses the seed more than it receives, and the cold knife of hunger strikes the bellies of all but the most privileged. The worst of the desolation lies in a vast, lawless wasteland called the Verges, where the wind never stops blowing.
Mankind has been struggling to survive for centuries under these hopeless conditions, and now teeters on the brink of extinction. It is not expected to outlast another century. In 1322 humanity would come to know the worst of it.
In 1322, the Curella virus, nicknamed the Black Sam, emerged and unleashed a reign of destruction, claiming more than 60% of the population over the course of just a few years. The epidemic plunged the world further into chaos; many of the ruling dynasties were whittled down to splinters of their former glory. They responded to the chaos with desperation, ruling with heavy hands, trying to maintain what little control they had over the people. Revolutions swelled and some of the monarchies found extinction, replaced by new forms of government. In the midst of the turmoil, a new empire arose under the ruthless command of General Vralius, who embarked on a massive campaign to conquer nations while they were weakest.
Slavery, famine, plague, war. All commonplace, haunting and dashing hope with little resistance. Yet through the darkness shone the glimmering light of hope that was the Turmocet vaccine. Three years into the epidemic, Altinus Turmo released his creation, which was distributed to the masses in hopes of eradicating the deadly Black Sam. But miracle soon turned to nightmare as more and more people fell prey to the vaccine’s unknown side effects, the most devastating being widespread infertility. The few who can still produce offspring are hunted, sought after commodities more precious than gold. These are the Carriers and Seeders. Children are nothing more than memories for most people.
Through all of this, the Clavic Empire, led by the self-proclaimed High Emperor Vralius, continued to expand its sphere of influence until it had conquered several nations. Vralius acquired the Verges territory without a fight and suddenly halted his expansion campaign in 1332 for reasons unknown.
None of the remaining nations have the power to resist should he resume his conquest.
Yet humanity trudges onward, facing an uncertain future of hunger and violence, slowly dwindling in numbers as the infertility takes its toll. There is very little to live for.
It is perhaps interesting to note that through all the Travel Commission’s reports on the various regions, and despite its depressing introduction, it lists the Verges as the worst place of them all. A place of hostility, both in populace and environment, it is the wasteland within the wasteland. And for all its many flaws, the Verges secures the number one most hated spot primary because of one thing: the wind never stops blowing there.