The Fifth World

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Humanity thrives beyond civilization.

The world has changed. The ruins of ancient cities lie submerged beneath the swollen seas. Beaches of translucent plastic sand mark new boundaries between land and water. Jungles stretch from the equator to the poles. Herds of elephants trample savannas in Canada and Russia. Tigers prowl the broken, overgrown ruins of London and Beijing. Tribes of hunter-gatherers roam the wilds. Villages cultivate forest gardens. The season of civilization has passed. Humanity has come home to a more-than-human world, but the bonds of kinship that provide them with everything they want or need in this feral future require constant care and attention lest they fray and break — as they nearly did in the ancient past.

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Novel

Children of Wormwood

My little brother came into this world with half a skull. He stayed for a day, then left again, taking my mother with him.

For countless generations, the family downstream of Beaver Valley Temple have helped the Vulture Priests contain the nuclear waste locked away within it. But when it begins leaking out and people start dying, they must leave their homeland and travel across the world in search of answers.

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Our Project

An Open Source Shared Universe

The Fifth World presents an open source shared universe — a vision of a neotribal, ecotopian, animist realist future created by a growing community of authors, artists, designers, gamers, and dreamers. We create the setting together in our encyclopedia and explore it in stories, games, and whatever other media you can imagine. We publish everything on this site under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, so not only can you use it for your own creative projects, we can’t wait to see what you’ll create with it.


Roleplaying Game

Step into a feral future

In the Fifth World tabletop roleplaying game, you and a handful of friends explore what happens to your descendants living beyond civilization in the Fifth World, amongst the familiar places of your own life, transformed by four centuries of change. You’ll trace the history of your family and learn the customs that helped them to survive and thrive, and then take on the roles of the members of that family as they struggle to balance the web of kinship all around them and find the right path into their future. Afterwards, add your stories to the wiki to make them part of the growing history of the Fifth World.

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