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New Philadelphia

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 11 months ago

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      Now part of the Empire of the East, a dictatorship ruled from Atlantic City.




     The city of Philadelphia and its suburbs -- the largest city in Pennsylvania. The city itself had a population of 1,688,210 just before the Atomic War; the metropolitan area contained 4.8 million people. 

     An important seaport, and a major (but declining) oil refining and distribution center.

     The first half of November 1989 was unusually balmy across much of the United States. Then, on November 16, a long line of severe thunderstorms swept through the central and eastern states, producing an outbreak of tornadoes.



     November 18, 1989 was a cool day, with a high temperature of 48° F, and a night-time low of 48° F. The wind was about 16 kph from the west-south-west at the time of the first strike.

     There were six nuclear detonations in Philadelphia. Surface attacks were made on the international airport (650 kilotons), the naval shipyard (650 kilotons), and the port facilities along the Delaware River (550 kilotons); air bursts detonated over downtown (650 kilotons), west of the Schuylkill River (550 kilotons), and over the oil refineries along the Schuylkill River at Point Breeze and Girard Point (650 kilotons; the largest refining complex on the East Coast).

     Weapons also struck petroleum terminals on the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, and on other locations further down the river.

     Immediate fatalities were 2.3 million persons, with another 4.3 million persons injured -- almost everyone living in the city itself or the surrounding communities. A heavy trail of radioactive fallout was carried to the northeast, falling most heavily on northern New Jersey.

     In the days and weeks following the attack, very heavy amounts of fallout were carried to Philadelphia from the destroyed Limerick Generating Station (40 km from downtown Philadelphia), Peach Bottom Generating Station, Three Mile Island Generating Station, and the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station. The severe weather which had started on November 16th persisted, with six weeks of intense cold, with temperatures nationwide averaging about 6 to 12 degrees below normal, and heavy snowfall along the Lake Erie snowbelt. Many of the people injured by the blasts died of the cold weather.

     By Christmas of 1989, most of the fires at the refineries had burned themselves out, but only a few thousand persons were living along the Delaware River near Philadelphia. Radiation levels were severe enough to kill off much of the vegetation by the summer of 1990.

     Through much of the 21st Century only the most desperate people would even travel through Philadelphia; the city itself was uninhabited. Ferals and tribals, descended from the great masses of refugees, lived in the Piedmont Plateau, and visited the city to scavenge.

     About sixty years ago, the newly-founded Empire of the East began expanding to the Delaware River, and realized that a great amount of resources laid untapped in Philadelphia. At the same time, the Federal Zone (mostly in Virginia) was sending well-protected exploring parties to the north, clashing with the tribals northwest of Philadelphia.

     The tribes, awed by "Empirial" magics and offers of support, swore loyalty to the "Empiror."


What Outsiders Know

     For a century, the only residents of Philadelphia have been desperate, diseased and mutated savages. Since the arrival of the Empire of the East, organization has come to the ruined metropolis -- organization, and a growing menace.


The Reality

     A rough, fierce culture exists in New Jersey and around Philadelphia; the serfs are dominated by the Empire through medication and crude entertainment.



     About a hundred thousand persons live around the ruins of the metropolitan area, and within about 60 kilometers of the Delaware River.


Territory and Locations


dark grey zones are the areas exposed to 5 psi overpressure or more during the Atomic War

-- only reinforced concrete buildings will remain;

purple zones are current areas affected by radioactive contamination;

blue areas represent the current sea level


     The Empire of the East controls the Delaware Valley (in Pennsylvania and New Jersey), the Piedmont Plateau region in eastern Pennsylvania, and the Pine Barrens in South Jersey.




Government, National and Local

     Blah blah ...


Justice, Social Control, Punishment

     There's no written code of laws. Punishment for disobedience is at at least a trip to the arena as a combatant; if you're unlucky, as a victim or target.


Political Factions, Dissent

     Blah blah ...


Famous/Infamous Persons


     The Empiror in Atlantic City is known to everyone.


Relationships with Other Groups

     The Federal Zone has become dedicated foes of the Empire of the East.




Ethnic Groups, Immigration and Emigration


     Blah blah ...


Social Divisions and Castes

     A growing and notable portion of "Emperial" society


Religion, Beliefs and Superstition

     They follow the Gospel of Saint Lucas, as introduced by evangelists from the Jersey Shore.


Morality and Values

     Blah blah ...


Progress and Failure

     Blah blah ...


Family, Age, Sexuality and Gender

     Blah blah ...


Education and Language

     New Philadelphia English is a strong dialect of Ancient English. Literacy is low ... at most 10% of the population can read at all (mostly citizens). Some words in common use:


  • empirial:  the locals don't spell it "imperial" (when they spell at all). The leader of the Empire is the "Empiror". 

  • hoagie or grinder:  a local version of submarine sandwiches.

  • jawn:  the all-purpose noun, standing in for almost anything. "Remember to bring that jawn to the jawn."

  • wooder:  water

  • yo:   a greeting, or just an interjection to gain a person's attention. "Yo, Tommy, come over here."

  • yiz:  used for the second person plural. "Yiz guys should come over here."


Environment and Agriculture



     The remaining radioactive contamination around Philadelphia is life-threatening in the long run:


  • over 0.1 millisieverts per hour:  mostly within 10 km of the reactors, but also at random points as far away as central New Jersey. These areas are not habitable, and won't be for at least another half-century. These areas are mostly north and northwest of Philadelphia.

  • over 0.02 millisieverts per hour:  within 100 kilometers roughly downwind of destroyed reactors, but variable in shape, etc. and also varies in intensity. Equivalent to four dental X-rays per hour. Spending a year in this zone will give you about 175 millisieverts ... and an increased risk of cancer. There's a good chance you'll die of radiation poisoning in ten or twenty years. Eating food grown here is also unhealthy.

    • The current (2018) maximum annual radiation dose allowed for a nuclear plant worker is 50 millisieverts.


     Black bears, coyotes, white-tail deer, lnyx, bobcats, copperhead snakes are found in New Jersey; the Piedmont Plateau is similar, but also includes wolverines, gray wolves, cougars and moose. A fair amount of the fauna and flora are mutated around the nuclear power plants.



     Blah blah ...


Art and Entertainment, Music, Literature, Recreation

     Blah blah ...


Fashion and Appearance

     Blah blah ...


Urban and Rural Areas, Architecture

     Blah blah ...


Equipment and Resources



     In the Philadelphia area, it's entirely a barter economy -- there is no currency in circulation or recognized. All important "trade" is directed by the "Empirial" leaders.

     Empire chips are recognized, however.


Science, Medicine and Technology

     Blah blah ...


Weapons and Military Equipment

     Blah blah ...



     Blah blah ...



     Blah blah ...






     Blah blah ...



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