Welcome to Purgatory
Purgatory isn't a place most Pillars want to end up.
The rifts in Purgatory focus on the damned and the dead. Possessed humans, spiritual assaults, hauntings, and an environment where the land of the dead and the land of the living are metaphorically speaking just a wet piece of tissue paper apart. The Spires, and one’s devotion to them, allow for the opening of "Devil's Runs" where Pillars leave the land of the living and enter a parallel domain of the dead. Here the Pillars face threats most people can't see, with weapons that serve no purpose save for dealing with spirits, without much in the way of funding from corporations.
In Purgatory the majority of Pillars are either Nil-Zero or low ranking corporate representatives that have screwed up somehow to end up with a Purgatory assignment. With the land of the dead offering little in the way of resources that serve any purpose to the public sector, Purgatory is a land mostly unmonitored by corporate existence due to a lack of profitability.
The freedom from corporations causes huge issues for Pillars. The quality of life is low. The local government needs funds to pay for Pillar resurrections. Resources are few and far between and all permanent death needs to take a Pillar is spending one minute too long on a Devil’s Run.
Welcome to Purgatory. You may already be damned.
Living In Purgatory
Being deployed to Purgatory is neither the optimal choice, nor the easiest for most pillars accustomed to the militaristic and corporate structure. The town is run by a human and pillar government that dictates and organizes the town without needing permission from the corporations. The government takes care of everything from resurrection costs to weapons and research and takes no money from any of the corporations. Most Pillars within the Lost Territory are either Nil-0 or low-ranking; the rank of a corporate climber means little to a Purgy, as they will often say, “The corps don’t mean shit.” Community first, corporation second, that is the Purgatory way.
And, the community of Purgatory finds itself comprised of three different, yet amicable, peoples: humans, pillars, and rift creatures, colloquially called “hopefuls”. Humans and pillars walk the same streets and share the same rights, and on the rare occasion a creature from The Abyss will be granted sanctuary and even citizenship.
Though pillars and humans live side-by-side, there are logistics and dividing lines between them. Pillars and humans are housed in different sections of the town, with pillar specifically designed to withstand their strength and abilities. However, should a pillar cause a major incident or destruction while in a higher tier, they will be sent to the De-Tier chamber. The chamber rapidly strips a pillar of their aether, forcing them into a lower tier. While this is a severe sentence, all residents, pillars, humans, or hopefuls, all have some level of legal protection and rights under the government’s laws.
Limits of Freedom
Due to what is known as “Residual Influence”, a fusion of aether and emotional energy, Purgatory exists in an economic and infrastructural bubble. When someone dies, the strong emotions of that person are often affected by the exceedingly high levels of aether. If the emotions are strong enough, this residual influence can latch onto different objects near the rift, taking on special properties that can affect the denizens and byproducts of the Abyss. These “relics” are a commodity to the town as they are the foundation of Purgatory’s defensive and technological developments; however, once outside of Purgatory, the relics and technology lose all their residual influence and become inactive.
Because of this, the town has resorted to an import-only and crowdfunding economy. Purgatory cannot export any resources as they become useless once across the border. Even necessities like the resurrection chambers are crowdfunded, and oftentimes the government can only afford to bring so many people back. In Purgatory, one minute too long in the Abyss could truly be a pillar’s last. Yet, though they struggle, the government is self-sustaining and distributes its own currency. Pillars accustom to the currency of Chit will find it worthless here. Instead, people are paid with Ticks, representing time itself. The phrase “You give time to get time” is quite literal in Purgatory, as all residents work and earn time off in the form of Ticks worth days and even years. The harder you work, the more time you earn free.
When a pillar or human reaches their ending days, or they choose to step down from their life, they engage what the citizens of Purgatory call a “Final run”. Going in alone, they will charge into the Abyss to kill as many creatures, collect as many relics, and go as deep as they can. Along the way they will leave supply packages of all they have gained, and then repeat the process until eventually vanishing into the dark.
The Occult and Aether
Due to the overabundance of aether in Purgatory, and more so in The Abyss, supernatural and paranormal phenomena are as common as a rodent problem. Thus, the usage of talismans and sigils that have been woven into technological advances are a practical addition to everyday life, and, with possessions and demons being commonplace, the town has become a magnet for the occult and those interested. Rituals are as frequent as festivals, and sometimes they combine as cults, enthusiasts, and scholars of the mysterious flock to the Lost Territory from all over, for better or for worse.
History of the LT
The areas around old Massachusetts were known for their paranormal mystique. However, what people didn’t know was how real it was; a long time before the watershed, a tear appeared. Small, unnoticeable, this tear led to a small trickle of spirits and entities to cross into our world. When the watershed occurred, something pressed against the tear and it began to open. Ignored by the authorities, due to size and the insignificance of the area, the tear eventually become a rift in 2018. When the rift fully opened, violently, the residents and area were thrown into a time distortion; the area locked itself within the expanse of the Abyss and into a time nearly twenty years in the future.
While most of the world was overtaken by the mega-corporations, Purgatory existed outside their normal time, and people could not leave or enter. For years, they were trapped. Ten years ago, the people of Purgatory found protective glyphs and talismans sufficient enough to shield those who enter or leave the Lost Territory. Since then, more pillars are deployed to the town as either punishment or as an asset for the cause. Despite it all, Purgatory stands as both an uncontrollable asset and resource sink-hole to the corporations, but they’re a necessity to keep ever looming rift at bay. For generations, the people of Purgatory have fought back, and even now in 2150P, their war drums still ring.