It has been more than 100 years since the collapse of the Great Dam ruined the thriving cities of the Long River. The global economy has imploded due to destructive unrest in the oil-producing countries of the Muslim Lands and Beautiful Southern Continent, and the total collapse of the New Tsardom in the North. As three quarters of the world’s known oil supply was used up or became impossible to extract due to unrest, the world and the Central State split into smaller, balkanized countries that turned inward, protective of what was left of their resources in the new Dark Age.
Former Lands of the Central State
North of the River, destruction has been slower, but no less severe, as pollution and overuse of water resources has turned much the North Plain into deserted badlands now called the Broken Flats. The southern reaches of the North Plain have become a great mass of swamps. Only in the Western Mountains and do major cities survive, albeit in a reduced state: without trade in foreign goods from the coast or in produce from the South, the loess hills are left with little but their own products, predominantly coal and dryland grains. The three powers that remain in the Northwest are the city-states of Eternal Peace, Supreme Origin and Orchid Prefecture.
In the Northeast...
South of the River, pollution has destroyed vast swaths of land and water. The civil wars after the dam collapse destroyed much of the infrastructure that allowed easy transport between the mountain valleys, leaving the Southwest as isolated as it has been in centuries. The lake lands of the Central South were inundated by dam waters and have become swamps home to bandits and few others. The Coastal South survived the first waves of chaos relatively unscathed, only to find that with the steep decline in foreign and interregional trade, it could not support its population, resulting in further civil wars and emigration. The major city-states of the Coastal South are Banyan City, Lower Gate and the three sister cities Flourishing Monkey, Fragrant Harbor and Sea Gate.
In the Upper Gorges, the Heavenly Country has shut itself off from the outside world, able to live on its abundant produce. The [[sage-kings]] of the Becoming Capital have decreed a new Age of Contentment and rejected the excesses of technology.
The three major powers in the Eastern Ocean united through a combination of diplomacy, force and banishment of the unwilling. The northern Hermit Kingdom is now used as a buffer zone by the rest of the peninsula, which is considered part of the Isles of the Immortals.