The Reclamation Project — Setting

“The humans were amazing, in their day. Our world is layered over theirs, and the bones of the old one still poke through. On a clear morning you can see what’s left of one of their cities out in the bay… Huge buildings, tens or hundreds of stories high, standing precarious and mostly-uninhabitable, their flooded streets under twenty feet of water. But the humans’ day has passed. Oh, there’s still a few of them out there, trying to take back the world they squandered. But without claws? Without fur? Without scent? Heh. Good luck to ‘em.”
Art by Zhichao Cai

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Ambara Down, Crossroads of the World

The central narrative hub of Reclamation is Ambara Down, a city where literally all of the major elements of the setting have crashed together. Ambara Down has that name for a reason: it was just called Ambara when it was a floating city– but it isn’t floating any more.

Roughly forty-five years ago, the floating human city of Ambara had a massive system failure and came crashing down to the surface, laying waste to a region miles across and destroying several furry settlements in the process. Most but not all of the human population died in the crash as well, leaving a ruined ghost-city to be retaken by squatters and scavengers.

Roughly twenty-five years later, when the current Reclamation Project was established between the human cities, the recovery of Ambara Down was considered a priority to keep the technology of the flying cities out of “dangerous” (i.e., non-human) hands. But by then Ambara Down had inhabitants again– including humans and non-humans alike who had been born and raised there and considered it their home.

For the past twenty years Ambara Down has been in a sometimes-hot, sometimes-cold standoff with Reclamation Project forces. The current status quo is that the RP grudgingly recognize the sovereignty of the existing Prefecture, in exchange for the right to establish facilities within the city to recover technology and do other scientific work and research. Neither side is happy with this arrangement, and it is an opinion shared by both sides that it’s just a matter of time before another wave of human soldiers come down in their floating robot tanks and try again to take the city– against which contingency the Ambarans have an active and occasionally violent resistance already in place.

Physically, Ambara Down is facing south on a warm oceanic coast, with mountains to the north that give way to a desert beyond. By hoverskiff it’s only a few days to jungles, swamps, or lush green lands. A maglev rail system operated by the Reclamation Project runs from a station in Old Ambara out eastward to RP-controlled territory; westward is mostly furry-controlled lands, including Tzumrut, the largest and most prosperous furry territory.

Possible Touchstones

Things to Avoid

The Reclamation Project (The RP, ‘Claimers)

Spearheaded by technologically advanced humans from their network of flying cities, the Reclamation Project’s goal is to Bring Civilization Back! to a world they believe has fallen into barbarism. They control wide territories that they use for agriculture, mining for resources, etc., and will be the first to tell you that they “bring prosperity and technological advance” to those regions. It’s not untrue, but it’s also a fact that 90% of the benefits from Reclamation are sent straight up to those floating cities, while the people down on the ground still often lead hard lives.

The humans of the floating cities have complex alliances, rivalries, and interconnected political and economic systems that keep them from outright war with each other, but always eager for a chance to get a leg up on each other. Life in the floating cities is urbane, artistic, and generally comfortable, but they are utterly dependent on the flow of food and other resources up from the ground below.

The various furry folk tend to refer to all humans as ‘Claimers, but this is misleading. The Reclamation Project is a specific international organization that considers the flying cities to be true nations, and the various furry settlements on the surface below as “rogue states.” While the official view of RP is that furries are sapient beings with autonomy and “human rights,” there are human-supremacist factions that consider all the other species as squatters or “talking beasts that have gotten uppity.”

The RP has many faces, from well-dressed dignitaries with exquisite manners, to no-nonsense brigadiers in berets, to idealistic anthropologists who genuinely want peace and love for all, to furry mercenary enforcers who don’t care whose mouth the bread is torn from as long as they get a piece. The RP builds railroads and hospitals and reliable food supply chains, but those are support structures for a humans-first agenda. The decision of whether to work for, work against, or simply duck and avoid the ‘Claimers is rarely a clear-cut, all-or-nothing affair.

Possible Touchstones