824 years in the future, warring tribes battle for a dying Earth’s scant resources. The subterranean Kukeri prepare for a siege on the stronghold of their nemesis Dr. Nihil. Dissension among their ranks may undo them if blood thirsty replicants, ripper winds, and unforgiving heat don’t…
Animation by Studio Linguini
TERMINUS takes place eight centuries after the collapse of civilization as we know it. Dr. Nihil’s experiments spawned chaos, friend turning on friend, brother turning on sister, child against parent as the mad scientist’s violent replicants rampaged across the globe. The glossary below details the world of TERMINUS.
The following is an excerpt from the TERMINUS graphic novel, which you can purchase here.
Flying rooters. Typically comprised of recovered bird and insect carcasses. Inedible. Not suitable for riding or sexual activity.
The time since the end of the Long Cold. A period of intense heat, perennial drought, and hostile conditions for almost all organic matter.
The subterranean lair of the Kukeri. Down Home is a stronghold consisting of interwoven caves (some natural, many man-made) that lead to various locales throughout the former California coast. Settlers initially fashioned Down Home as a bulwark against bitter cold, but its dark, protected tunnels proved to be perfect safeguard against the brutal heat and biting cold of a dying earth.
“Dr. Nihil” is an honorific bestowed upon each successor to the original eponymous doctor, the man who broke the world in an attempt to resurrect his girlfriend in 2021. Each subsequent Nihil has strived to design and animate an ever-more-perfect ode to Nihil’s one true love (known to supplicants solely as “Helen”).
A cadre of subterranean librarians whose entire existence is dedicated to the excavation, study, and preservation of world history. We are as close to a global governing body as exists, though we take no sides. Our sole purpose is the pursuit of complete truth.
A mysterious energetic force that courses through certain humans and life forms still roaming the earth. Little understood, purified Essence is believed to be the key to correcting the planet’s course and reversing the deleterious effects of the post-Long Cold sun. Essence courses through those considered to have a special connection with the earth itself.
The name given to Dr. Nihil’s deceased girlfriend and all of the creations made in her image.
A tribe of cave dwellers believed to be of Central European origin (pre-Long Cold earth geography). Their symbology, colorful, decorative outfits, and violent rituals suggest a dedication to centuries-old cultural rituals intended for chasing winter away. The dominant hunter gatherers remaining on the earth. Knowledgeable travelers who find their way through intricate networks of underground caves.
The latest in the line of Nihils.
Followers of the Cult of Nihil. Some include defectors from different tribes. Others are (mostly) mindless replicants designed and animated by the present Nihil.
An abandoned workstation from a previous Dr. Nihil. Tunnels linked J-Alpha-67 to the outer reaches of Down Home, turning it into a key strategic landmark for the Kukeri, as well as a place for quiet experimentation.
Various way stations, service points, abandoned facilities, and various other notable structures dotted across the known world. Outposts have all been inhabited at one point or another in the time since Dr. Nihil broke the world; they often serve as landmarks aiding in navigation.
The period after the Long Cold; agreed to have begun roughly around 2620. When the ice melted and the flood waters, rivers, and seas eventually evaporated, the intense heat warped the earth’s topography, melting surface plastics into the soils. Some regions became dazzling rainbow fields, others became drab gray planes. Regardless of color and shine, the earth became largely fallow, unable to bear fruits or plants of any kind in the toxified ground.
Term for both the most recent period of the Burntime when all of the world’s major oceans have dried up completely and for the vast regions created by their evaporation.
Potentially edible (unclear).
The super heated winds that slice across the surface of the earth at unpredictable intervals throughout each day. Subside at night.
Animatronic robots comprised primarily of recovered organic material and surveillance electronics. Made from what might have been called “roadkill” in older times. Inedible.
Essence that has been turned from plasmoid to solid through a “purification” process. Very few understand the methods for capturing and solidifying essence (one that requires significant equipment and natural resources). It is believed that only one element is necessary for the purification process, but no existing records describe the process.
A warrior sect loyal to those who are loyal to them—and display this loyalty in the form of tribute. The Barriori have no set home, marking strongholds across the earth’s surface in coordination with their allies. They work closely with the Saline, protecting convos and ensuring that none of the world’s rogue elements or embattled tribes attack the salt supply.
The period after the first Dr. Nihil set the world on its hellish new trajectory. So-called because every decade seemed to “burst” with new terrors.
A tribe comprised mainly of female visionaries whose soothsaying abilities have long been sought after in the days since the Long Cold ended. The Brood relies on intuition to make sense of a violent world’s ever-changing realities. They are small in number, but their great power affords them tremendous respect wherever they roam. They move throughout the year, seeking the zones of the world where the time between light and dar are balanced throughout the day.
A collective of tinkerers owing to their directive to a squandered past—a time when man and machine verged on union, but the Long Cold interrupted technological evolution. Fusionists adhere to no specific moral philosophy, but believe that the union of human biology and technology will free mankind from the pains and strictures of common existence. Some adhere to Nihil’s vision, others hew close to the neutrality of the Saline or the Erati, others cast their lot with various humanist sects.
(Pronounced “gore-el-eat”). Considered the inheritors of a civilized human past, the Gorelite have cultivated cave systems in which agriculture is possible and memories of bygone eras give way to anodyne visions of social existence. The Gorelite exist in longstanding treaty with the Saline and the Kukeri.
The winter that consumed the world from roughly 2400 to 2620. Little is known about who, if anyone, lived on the earth’s surface during this time. Ongoing research seeks to piece together the picture of life during these two centuries.
Worshippers of the dazzling plastic glittering the earth’s surface, the Plastics are a tribe of seekers who wander across the globe searching for the most dazzling plasticine planes. Their methods are mysterious, but they gather in numbers across the select planes to cultivate and ingest fumes from the glittering plastics. These ceremonies (known casually as “huffs”) are said to produce extreme visions capable of predicting the future and revealing the planet’s secrets.
A brutal merchant tribe focused on harvesting the usable sort from the earth’s surface. Overseeing enslaved workers from the various tribes of the world (all of whom have been stripped of their identities and colored pale gray, the tribe’s primary color and the color of their common salt). The Saline purport to be technically neutral, as they deal salt to any and all who need it and help maintain tenuous economic balance across the globe.