SN: Ask me the questions, law-keeper. I'm not afraid.
RHYS: What is your name?
SN: Sergeant Njörđr.
RHYS: What is your quest?
SN: To seek the Colonel Ferris.
RHYS: What is your favorite color?
SN: Blue. No, yello--- wait, no, it is blue.
RHYS: Great. Now, down to some heavier stuff.
SN: Hit me.
RHYS: How's the current state of world affairs?
SN: Well, not so good, Marshall. President Rapsknuckle is doing all he can, but he's had to pull back most of his forces into The City. Out here in the West, the people have been left to deal with the bandits, rebels, Candaemons, and assorted sundry all by themselves. I know for a fact there's troubles for folks in the North, East, and South.
RHYS: I think I knew all that. Could you maybe go into more detail about the political geography of the world?
SN: OK. Settle in. I have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science as part of the soldier education programs put in place by President Rapsknuckle. (Ahem.)
(Note: The following is really long. Skipping it is not only acceptable, it's what all the cool kids do! -Andrew)
Sergeant Njörđr drops an EXPOSITION BOMB!
SN: The political situation is multi-faceted. The basic theory is that the main world is divided into five major regions: the West, the North, the East, the South, and The City in the middle of the others. Each is, since the Treaty, a member state of the Union States, which was rebuilt from The City. However, each State functions as an independent entity with more autonomy than may have been previously expected under such a federal system. This of course discounts The City, which is under nominal direct control by the US. However, each of the other states have their own government which shares a strained position of authority ostensibly under the central government; however, in reality, each State has its own ruler as the main controlling power in their region. In the North, the King and Queen have maintained rule for almost 30 years, despite the other factions attempting to take control there, such as the Vikings or even the crown's allies at the Wizard's Academy. Their relationship is typical of those found in other regions, where several groups attempt to gain power out from under the current leadership while rendering them assistance out of necessity. In the case of the North, should the Monarchy fall, the lack of a central government would leave a vacuum which would enable Candaemons, the Gangle Hoards, the Dragons or others to decimate the rest of the area despite the independent resistance of the lesser groups. In addition, the monarchy keeps the forces of the Central (City) government from completely dominating and annexing their territory. Still, each group attempts to keep the Monarchy balanced on the edge of a knife so that while it is never so weak as to crumble, it is never too strong that the other factions feel unable to challenge their authority. Each wishes to supplant them, but each lacks the power to do so while still maintaining stability in the region, so an uneasy balance is struck.
In the North, the King and Queen hold court over the region, though their rule has become increasingly strained in the past few months. In the East, the Invisible Shogun rules, though he has only given orders through his immediate followers for the past several years, and his Daimyo are becoming increasingly hostile towards each other in his purported absence. In the South, the current Pirate Lord has only been in his seat for less than a year, and another Civil War is likely in the near future. Here in the West, there has been a historical lack of a unified leadership, with each individual group holding more of a burden of self-rule. In cases of extreme duress, it is likely that most Western collectives will look to Marshalls, Sheriffs, Judges, or Mayors to solve their problems, while they look for Union forces to deal with any larger problems such as Candaemon invasions or our good Colonel Ferris here. Unfortunately, with most Union forces retreating to the City, the West has suffered the most, as the peacekeepers in the other regions tended to be more token guards than viable military forces. More weight has fallen on the shoulders of local Western law enforcers like yourself.
Now, while all of this statecraft is important, there are other matters to consider. While there are a multitude of factions, the Soda Corporations rank high on the power index. While all of the Soda Corps are based in The City, their influence and competition can be found across all regions. The Big Three, as they're known, are the Mule Kick Corporation, the Rokkit Juice Corporation, and the One Up Corporation. They are locked in constant struggle for "market share," though the actual meaning of this has been lost over time. In modern politics, they are a wild card, looking for money, power, and prestige in whatever way they can. Depending who you ask, any of the three groups can be considered "winning" their struggle. Mule Kick has the most men and possibly the most money; they're ruthless in their hatred for Rokkit Juice. Rokkit Juice enjoys the most public support and their Rokkiteers are fierce combatants. One Up has managed to remain mysterious, despite their vast power; while fewest in number, they are the most technologically advanced Soda faction, and are gifted at corporate espionage and covert operations. There are other soda groups, such as UltraPink, Fancy Moist, Blue Dye and others, but their petty squabbles are far below the levels of the titanic Big Three For All.
Finally (skipping over some bits), we come to the Candaemons. The Candaemons are a hoard of destructive, deadly beasts which desire nothing more than to bring the entire world to its knees. Though some have said their designs are more subtle, the majority of their actions feature wanton destruction. They tend to guard remnants of the Old World--- (RHYS: You're seriously calling it that?) ---and are wicked ruthless. And wicked. They operate in a hierarchical framework, more or less. Candimps are on the bottom, followed by the Candaemons (though that name is also used for the generic entirety of their kind), then the Candark Ones, and possibly there are more above that, but that's all I know. Supposedly there are even competing groups within the Candaemons, but I don't know anything about that.
So that's the basics of the world's political geography. But what do I know? I'm a political science major.
RHYS: Political science Sergeant. Don't put on airs, Njörđr.
SN: Whatever. Did that help?
RHYS: Maybe. But why are they called "Can"-daemons? Isn't that kinda silly and juvenile? Why not just "daemons?"
SN: I dunno. And by the way, I may have some of that stuff wrong. It's a big and complicated world out there. And I was a 3.2 GPA student.
RHYS: OK, next question. Why--- you know what? I know "talking is a free action", but we gotta move on to another turn. This is ridiculous. Just keep pointing at that chart. We'll get there tomorrow. Or Monday, since tomorrow is Halloween. Sort of.>Briefly depart CANON