Fear Is Darkness
The shining symbol of Chicago’s misery, Walters is a human born and raised among the upper class who was only a child around the outbreak of the PANvirus. On the top level he is venerated as the protector of the city and the bringer of prosperity, but the people of the lower levels have slowly awoken to face the madness of the oppression above. As a result Walters has closed himself off to the world, appearing only in recorded video and hologram for the people to see, while the city turns to chaos beneath him.
The Hog hangs around his joint in the backside of a tower in the south side of Chicago’s mid-level, right where the city starts to bleed away into the refugee camps of the Ring. The area is bustling at night, and the pub-style shop where Junkyard Hog passes time operates on an unspoken code of conduct built around the candor of the Orc himself. There is no security, and even the bartenders know to leave a certain percent of their haul to restock the inventory.
“They call him the Hog because it looks like he’s been kicked in the nose one too many times.” -Patron
Occasionally advertises jobs to runners of Chicago, source unknown.
Midge the Medical Doctor
Midge hacks away in his laboratory/operating room on a Saturday night, his glasses bouncing wearily on his nose as he works a body/patient with intense focus. The phone rings, and his elf assistant leans around the corner to say its the Covenant calling, they have another limb job for him. Full or partial amputation? A moment passes, and she leans around the corner again to say its a full amputation. Midge’s long underbite relaxes and he lets out a deep sigh, his horns pointing toward the ceiling, huffing back to her that he would be waiting for them out back when they arrived.
“I may not have my MD, but I am a medical doctor.” -M
The philanthropic leader of the Pham, a Vietnamese family of mafia-types that protect the refugees that have collected along the eastern sprawl of Boulder, Colorado. Johnny Pham is an effervescent young man with a face as recognizable to refugees as any world leader. Johnny K’s face is on every shop and store, from street cart to hostel, in the Boulder area and his name carries from the northern edge of the Ring to the reinforced wall surrounding Denver only thirty miles to the south. The Pham is a tight knit group, and Johnny only trusts his wife Sonia and his son Yani to handle matters of the family business. Although he welcomes refugees with open arms and loves them as his own, he commands the uniform love of these people so firmly that they will seek out and destroy trouble in their midst before JK himself can even hear about it.
Johnny Pham was born in Boulder and raised to believe he would take on the responsibility of operating the family security business, but his father never believed JK to be the ruthless businessman he was and held on to his company until the day he succumbed. The PANvirus caught his father while they traveled to negotiate contracts in St. Louis, Johnny assumed leadership the day his father finally stopped recognizing the people around him and gave into staring into space for an eternity.
If you see him on the street, you’ll know by the twentieth century American flag he drapes over his business suit, crudely corrected to include the golden star of Vietnam’s flag in the center.
“Welcome to the United States of Pham!” -Johnny K
Sonia the Left Hand
Johnny K’s wife, a highly educated and quiet woman of deep principle. While JK is off pursuing matters of importance to his heart, Sonia keeps the books.
Yani the Right Hand
Yani grew up close to his Mother’s side, but it didn’t stop JK from leaving the most important tasks of the Pham to his son.
Johnny’s old school advisor to the Pham, brother to JK’s father.
Troll warlord of the Fifth World that managed to establish the mercenary corporation Gatlan in Milwaukee.
Dwarf mercenary that has worked along the northwestern edge of the Ring of Fire since it was first settled.
Byali the Smuggler
Byali is a boy genius that found himself caught up in the storm of the PANvirus when he was handed a mysterious piece of tech by Jack Smith some years ago. Today he lives on the run, an archivist and historian of the new world that has helped to develop Dewey’s Library.
T’ten the Gunrunner
T’ten is an elf that made her way selling weapons in the Fifth World. Today her ability to move product has become limited, but she makes exceptions for old friends.
Belfry the Hacker
Bomfy the Mechanic
Dewey the Librarian
Dewey is a piece of artificial intelligence created by refugees to store the information of the programmers, engineers, doctors, and philosophers of the refugee class. Few know about Dewey, fewer can even access his file system.
Derrier the Bounty Hunter
Derrier does his business in the Ring of Fire, where he chases the debts and crimes of those that have chosen the shadow of refugees as their sanctuary. Formerly a security officer known as Declan Reiner, Derrier lost his close family to the PANvirus and took to the frontier in its wake.
Contractor for illicit connections between megacorporations and the runners of the Sixth World, the Operator is known by a nickname that will grant you special access to her services.
Zoltan the CAS Operative
Zoltan is a ranking officer in the CAS, contracting between multiple government security agencies as a man-hunter and investigator.