The Great War
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The Great War (not to be confused with World War I - the Great War is technically the end of World War III, or World War IV, depending on the interpreter) - was a nuclear holocaust starting and ending on October 23rd, 2077. In two short hours, civilization as we know it was wiped clean from the face of the earth. Nobody knows who fired the first nuclear weapon, but it is obvious that both sides were complicit in emptying their entire arsenals on one another. Leading up to the Great War were the Resource Wars, a series of conflicts (mainly between Communist China and the United States) in which the last reserves of fuel on the planet were snatched up by both parties as quickly as possible.

While the level of global destruction was unprecedented, it did not mark the end of the human race. Some areas remained relatively unaffected by the nuclear warfare, and were still habitable to one degree or another. Small communities were founded in such places, though most did not survive. Many people tried to take up residence in underground locales such as the expansive sewer systems of the once-great cities - for this reason, many feral ghouls can be found in these places today, their minds having been ravaged by a little too much radiation and poisoning for them to have retained any vestiges of their sentience.

A week or so after the initial fire, the rain started to fall. It was undrinkable, tainted with soot and ash and other chemicals formed by the nuclear explosions. This was the beginning of the fallout, and it killed off most of the remaining life on earth. Plant, animal, and even microtic species went into extinction in an infinitesimal fraction of the time it had taken them to evolve. The few amazingly lucky species that survived were left to wander the vast, barren Wastelands that were created by the poison that continued to coat the land for weeks.

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