Founding and Background
A relatively new movement, the Swarm rejects the way Humanity has lived since the Cataclysm. It argues that,
to survive, Humanity must approach the world like the Infected: take what they need without compromise.
The Swarm was formed by one of the greatest philosophers of our times, Stephan Costas. Ten years ago,
seeing that Humanity was being reduced in number each year, he founded a new town in the northernmost
reaches of Gaia, over a hundred miles away from the nearest settlement, with the hope that the cold would
keep the Infected away. Thousands flocked to join his cause, but were not heard from again.
In the past three years, the Swarm has re-entered the inhabited areas of Gaia, moving southward steadily.
It operates a Scorched Earth policy across all of its territory: whenever the Swarm takes a new area, all
vegetation is eliminated, villages are destroyed and any creature which can carry Infection is killed, usually
through the wide-scale use of Flamethrowers. Any Humans who wish to join their cause are allowed to, the
rest face death – the Swarm does not allow people who reject its control to live in its territory. As a result, many
inhabitants of towns and villages are forced to flee ahead of the ever-moving tide of the Swarm. The Scorched
Earth policy also means that the majority of the Swarm’s territory is a Clean Zone.
When the Swarm changed from being the dream of a philosopher, to save Humanity, to the unending army that
now spreads across Gaia is unknown. Now, like the Infected, it encroaches further into the lands held by the
rest of Humanity each year.
Those who join the Swarm are termed Drones – they are forced to work in slave-like conditions with the
minimum amount of food and water they need to survive. A systematic brainwashing ensures that very few
fight back against this regime. The small number of Drones that do escape are usually hunted down and killed,
either by the Swarm itself or by settlements which the Swarm threatens into action.
The source of the Swarm’s expansionist ideals is unknown – whether Stephan Costas has gone mad or was
replaced, the fact remains that the Swarm is expanding. The Drones are coordinated by “Specials”, who seem
to be given orders to take and hold an area. Specials are often great Warriors with amazing skill.
The Drones and Specials all live in spartan conditions, although the Drones’ conditions may be better
characterised as “slave-like”. Often, they are forced to sleep on the bare ground. As all life is eliminated in
territories they have taken, most Swarm territory is a Clean Zone. It is believed that the Swarm manufactures its
own Injection when needed, as the White Cross does not supply this faction.
How the Clean Zones are maintained is more of a mystery – the Swarm controls a vast territory and what
happens within to keep Infected out is unknown.
If the Swarm decides to invade an area, then the people who are captured are forced into service. They are not
given any choice and the brainwashing prevents any rebellion. As a result, the Swarm is believed to be one of
the largest factions currently active on Gaia.
Everyone fears and hates the Swarm. It is rejected by the White Cross and the Runners, and towns and
villages will often try to fight off smaller-scale attacks by the Swarm’s Drones.
Despite this, the Swarm will often send a Special to negotiate with settlements, in an attempt to have them join
the cause willingly. Specials of the Swarm believe they are the best hope for Humanity to survive Infection and,
wherever possible, they would rather convert people peaceably than by force. After all, bullets and fuel are not
cheap in Gaia.