In an age long past, a powerful monarch rose to conquer half the known world. Her children and followers continued this path after her death, brining more and more of the world under Imperial control. They sailed across the seas, and brought their ideals and religion with them. They crushed the old world, devouring their cultures and bringing them into their own. Half a millenia later, every people in the world were either under Imperial control, or utterly destroyed.
This massive empire controlled over a billion people, in a vast mess of bureaucracy. Almost half of the inhabitants were somehow part of the government, plotting, hunting traitors and conspiracies, taking part in treason and conspiracies, vying for power, and repressing the rest of the populace (and sometimes themselves). The dozens of layers of aristocracy and officials became so complicated that there were several interlinked but non-interacting societies. Then Angels, Demons, and other strange beings became involved. They were just as nasty, scheming, and confused as everyone else.
And the repression continued. Everyone had it bad, and everyone wanted to make it better by stealing from someone else. But that isn’t even a zero-sum game. There’s always less for the thief than what they took. For some vicious hundreds of years, everything got worse. As the empire (and the world) was teetering towards a massive implosion, the apocalypse kind of happened.
The wails of a billion people, hating the world and each other, cursing whatever over class ruled them had been heard, and answered. An amalgamation of the final judgement from a thousand religions had arrived to punish the wicked. And the wicked, was everyone. Ironically, it made the empire more organized. Counterattacks were launched. Hundreds of obsolete departments suddenly had meaning and a goal. People got a common enemy (“that’s not my apocalypse!”). It was going surprisingly well.
But as they were fighting the incarnations of the end of the world, normal soldiers just wouldn’t cut it. Through ever more drastic decisions, unearthly powers were involved, massive dimensional rifts formed, and other weird stuff just kind of happened. And the war against the end times of their own religions was ended when the circle of grand sorcerers teleported several small planets, a dozen different timelines, and a whole separate dimension into their own world. It took care of the vengeful gods, and most of humanity at that.
What remains is a nation unwilling to die, somehow holding together despite the loss of 3/4 of its population and most of its resources. Almost all of the world’s inhabitants huddle together in the now far too big capital, while mutant terrors haunt the rest of the lands. And in this land of absurdity, you can now expect exactly anything.
Yeah this is just a really weird setting pitch I thought up on my way home one night. I’m not even sure it makes any sense…