The Waste is but a single part of a greater whole, called the Stormlands. There are many satraps, tyrannies, and worse, but they are all linked by a single phenomenon: a great dust-storm that travels all the world, linking every state of despair.
There are rumours of a western land, a green place that yet survives the destruction of the world. To the north, there is a land of endless industry, where the very blood of the earth, Gasolife, is produced. To the south, there is industry of another kind – the stuff of war and death. Guns, powder, anti-seed, jellied-night, and endless, horrible, ordnance.
To the east is the dead ocean known as The Salt, and its ancient cities. There is nothing there but radiation, and a slow, lingering death in the shadow of the great spires of a forgotten world.
Ancient roads link the fiefdoms of petty rulers. Black hardtop and yellow lines faded to white by an unforgiving sun, broken by the relentless sands of a dying world.
For years beyond measure I had not laid eyes upon the sea. Upon that lapping, endless expanse of blue and grey, of green and storm-wracked white. Once it was a symbol of release; for all my toil, I could return to my home, looking over the waters; with my family, content.
For years after, the sea was – in my mind – the colour of blood. I could not stand its sight, and so I sought refuge in the hinterland, in the cursed interior.
But Amber is green. It is light, and it is life. And more harmful to my heart, it is beside the sea. There are ships in its harbour, people in its streets. Children, laughing; old people, the weak, the sick… all with a place. They are not left to an uncaring land. They are cared for.
Yet I perceive there are tyrants here, or their recent memory. There are forgotten people. And a family that seems to rule all, descended from a figure that seems strangely familiar: an Immortan that is now lost, but whose stamp seems to colour all.
And what do they see in me?
A battered man. A raggedy man clothed in dust and pain and the scraps of a world lost to regret. A man who can barely talk, and even then only because his sanity was reclaimed by an angel of redemption. A man with a gun, with an eye only to what might cause him harm.
That, and a lingering, unspoken uncertainty; will he avoid – or seek – that harm?