Dhalgren Revisited: The Story So Far

In this section, I'm first going to give you a basic timeline for the game, concentrating mainly on the important things-- such as when the war began and ended. Eventually, I will include secondary information that isn't really integral, but makes the world unique. As a prime example of this, in Delany's book, the city of Bellona, where the action took place, was constantly shifing. Buildings would move, walls would appear or disappear, alleys would turn one way and the next day another. In my world, this happens, too. Alon with oddities such as the fact that the electricity doesn't work for the most part, except in a very few areas, and so the streetlights have been painted a garish orange. I'm going to divide this into three sections, which I hope I will finish relatively soon, as they are important for an understanding of the game. First, I'm going to give you a timeline. This is purely conjectural, since Delany never did. Second of all, I'm going to give you an overview of Delany's view of Dhalgren, and in the third section, I'll focus on my view of Dhalgren and the similarities & differences between the worlds.

Section One: Chronology

If you pay attention to nothing else on this page, this is probably the most important part. For the sake of ease, and since I've been playing Lilith in IWT for a very long time, you will notice that many events relating to Armageddon relate to events in Lilith's life. This was done purposely, as when I started to play Lilith, I wanted to explore the psyche of a woman who had basically been built on war, violence, and the utter lack of identity. We tend to think of identity in terms of personal identity, but in this world, that's not guaranteed. Even more troublesome, any sort of "communal" or ideological identity is missing. Everyone exists in this world basically to find their own way. The United States does not exist. In the world of Dhalgren, we are strangers in a familiar land, so to speak. We no longer know ourselves, and we know longer know each other.

The War started in 2032. When the government first started fighting the War, it was hailed as a monumentous effort towards global restructuring-- an attempt to bring all the flags of the world under one nation. ((It bears repeating that this is my view of Dhalgren, not what Delany said. I don't want anyone to think I'm extrapolating this based on the book. It just fits with the theme of identity which -was- well-established in Dhalgren and which continues on into my RP.)) It seems ironic, now, that a war started to unify the world came very close to destroying it. The War, referred to as Armageddon by Scorps and Feds alike, dragged on for years, with various factions rising to power and falling again. Eventually, the Japanese and America governments were vying for sole control of the Earth. The Japanese had established a large base in Asia and the Middle East, and the worst single battle of the War, a battle in which literally millions were killed, was fought in and around Baghdad. When that skirmish ended, the Japanese and American governments realized they were at a stalemate. Neither had the resources to continue in this vein for very long, and the only thing left was all-out nuclear confrontation. Mutually assured destruction did not deter either side, as they both assumed that the other would break under the pressure. Neither side so much as bent.

The final bombs of the War rained down on the American landscape in the summer of 2040. Millions upon millions of American citizens perished, some in the bombs themselves, and others from the fall-out. The same scenario was repeated in countries across the world; the New World Order no longer had a world to rule. What was left of the American government retaliated by raining the same sort of Hell across Europe, turning once-great cities into veritable wastelands. In the shadow of this holocaust, only a few scattered survivors, the last ones to inherit the decaying earth, were left behind.

The survivors banded together, loosely at first. People drifted in and out of cities, disoriented and shocked by the wholesale destruction that had robbed them of their minds. Occasionally, in cities like Bellona in what had been New York State, and New Jerusalem in what had once been the state of Georgia, more powerful factions rose. When the dust settled, the Government had gone completely underground and was rumored to be non-existent. The Scorpions had taken control of the streets.

Now, in 2050, the Government has again made known its presence to the people living in the United States, now referred to in their missives as "New Columbia." The Government will do everything it can to see order reinstituted in the world; and theh Scorpions will do everything in their power to tear that order down again and again. From the Federal side, the Scorpions are loosely organized terrorists; from the Scorpion side, the Feds are the true criminals. With the overwhelming support of the cities in question, the Scorpions have risen up out of the ashes, guns in hand, to defend what they have worked all along to rebuild.

The world has gone slightly askew. Everything seems darker, grimmer, and more likely to kill you. Everything from the drugs people take to the back alleys they take home.

Thanks for coming, be sure to email me at liliath@aol.com