Introduction: Shadows of North America
by Rob Boyle
Shadows of North America focuses on the thirteen nations and city-states that cover the North American continent in the Shadowrun universe. The date is August 2062, and the nations are still feeling the aftershocks of both the passing of Halley's Comet and the fiftieth anniversary of the Awakening, not to mention events like the Corporate War and the death of Dunkelzahn. This book updates previous material that has appeared on these nations and describes the various upheavals, crises and power machinations that influence each of them internally. Some of the details are continuations of established plotlines and story arcs, while others are completely new and never-before described within the world of Shadowrun.
Shadows of North America is presented as a series of electronic documents posted by Captain Chaos, sysop of the vast Shadowland archive and data haven-the number one source for shadowrunners on what's going on in the world of Shadowrun. The documents come from the viewpoint of shadowrunners, for the consumption of other shadowrunners. These sources are each unique in outlook and perspective, influenced by their own particular prejudices and interests. Each article is marked up with a running commentary by other shadow denizens who add to, revise and contradict the original post. These inserted comments add innuendo, allegations, opinions, rumors, misconceptions, misinformation, lies and sometimes even the truth to the information presented. It is left up to the gamemaster to decide what information is correct and which is just filling, as appropriate to his or her game.
The first document, Continental Divide, touches on some key points relating to the most important events in recent North American history-the Ghost Dance War and the Treaty of Denver. It describes the terms of the treaty and the repercussions of dividing the continent, especially in terms of Native American Nation (NAN) internal divisions and Anglo assimilation. It also briefly covers the Sovereign Tribal Council (STC), both historically and where it is at today.
The chapters that follow detail each of the nations in turn, including recent events, power players, key places, underworld figures and things to do. This information provides hundreds of plot hooks and background setting ideas. Here is a brief rundown of the countries covered:
- Algonkian-Manitou Council: This quiet NAN nation is now on the brink of civil war as the secessionist Manitou tribe raises the stakes.
- Athabaskan Council: This cold NAN smuggler haven is known for its natural beauty and natural resources-and is ground zero for conflict between megacorps and eco activists.
- California Free State: Once independent, much of this state has been usurped by the rogue forces of General Saito while the rest bunkers down for the coming invasion.
- The Confederation of American States: This is not the South of "the Good Ol' Days," but a bastion of political intrigue and a movement to reclaim "American" ideals.
- Denver: Now under the rule of the great dragon Ghostwalker, the underworld alliances in this divided city are in flux as everyone adjusts to the new boss.
- Pueblo Corporate Council: This NAN state is a successful mix of high technology and traditional magic, but a split at the upper levels of power threatens the nation's stability.
- Québec: A popular new regime threatens to dismantle Francophone domination, throwing the country into turmoil.
- Salish-Shidhe Council: A NAN state known for its tribal autonomy and smuggler support, the SSC is embroiled in a bitter border conflict with Tsimshian.
- Sioux: This militarized state vigilantly guards the NAN and STC against outside aggression, while internally the shadows are abuzz with spy games.
- Tir Tairngire: This elven nation is suffering for its isolationist policies. A near economic collapse has created a growing mass of disgruntled subjects and forced the princes to open the borders.
- Tsimshian: This repressive police state has allowed the megacorps to strip its land without restraint. Now it is feeling the consequences of this near-sighted greed.
- The United Canadian and American States: Though hard hit by events of the last decade, this diverse nation is on the road to recovery.
- Ute: This Anglophobic NAN country is suffering from devastating weather and economic instability, but the current powers are paralyzed until a new catalyst can shake up the system.
Artwork: Top Left-"Sioux Wildcat" is from RK Post. Bottom Left-"Atomic Kiva" by Klaus Scherwinski.