Welcome to the world at the end of the world. The skies are shrouded with burning, oily smoke, the Earth groans under a poisoned corpse, and the only way out may be deeper into the belly of the beast. This is a world about a flavor and a feel as much as it is about extrapolation. That said, this world has something of an edge to it – it’s a world nearly killed by the death of wonder, although far from all the wonders are dead. Put the “grim” back in “grime” and see the world outside the smeared Perspex windscreen.

This is a campaign set in Kenneth Hite’s magistral The Day After Ragnarok campaign setting. Players take on the roles of agents for the British Empire’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), also known as MI6 (of James Bond fame). Like 007, they are expected to risk life and limb to fight proxy wars in the shadows of public consciousness.

Unlike 007, the characters live in a world ravaged by nightmares borne out of myth and occultism; in 1945, desperate Nazi arcanists enact a mysterious rite which starts Ragnarök, the end of the world as foretold by Norse myth. Jormungandr, the colossal Midgard Serpent, a monster who is said to coil around the world, rises from the depths of the sea to devour all, and only a quick-thinking reaction from the Allied forces (and the newly-released power of the atom) save Mankind from extinction.

However, salvation comes at a terrible price. The Serpent’s titanic corpse crashes on the Earth, destroying much of Europe and Africa, and obliterating much of North America under massive tidal waves. The Serpent’s venom poisons the seas and the atmosphere, blighting crops and given rise to new, deadly, mutated animals and plants all over the world. Our species slowly and inexorably crawls back to a barbaric existence in several places, even as those few nations still standing rage desperately agaionst the dying of civilization’s light. Creatures of myth and legend, long slumbering beneath the Earth, stir on the wake of the Serpent’s fall, rising to witness and take part on the imminent end of the world. And the secrets of the occult are secrets no more; mentalists, magicians and miracle-workers are no longer regarded as charlatans and madmen, but as people commanding very real and very dangerous forces.

In this world gone mad, characters are recruited by MI6, under the aegis of Sir Maxwell Knight, a veteran British intelligence agent; witty, charismatic, eccentric, and purportedly versed in the dark arts. The Empire is beset on all sides by enemies of every stripe; the Soviet Union readies itself for Stalin’s “final, titanic struggle”. The Japanese Empire marches on, undeterred in its plans of conquest. Vengeful Nazi survivors lurk in the shadows and plot revenge. Opportunists and madmen everywhere take advantage of the chaos, to oppress the weak and to further their own dark designs, at the expense of the Empire and of its innocent, loyal subjects.

The player’s characters are all that stands between the Empire’s flickering light, and the darkness that encroaches on its borders. Should they fail, Civilization’s mightiest bastion will fall, and a New Dark Age of tyranny, oppression and ignorance is sure to follow.

On Her Majesty's Weird Service

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