‘Z’ is for ‘The Z,’ the world’s only zombie reservation. It’s the farthest thing from appearing in any of my scheduled books, at present the tentative setting for my seventh down the line, and so it’s closing out the A-to-Z challenge.
The Z lies deep in the north-west of The Frontier (see ‘F’), and is the only place in the world that still experiences zombieism. Zombies are very old hat for this world, a vestige of an apocalypse so old there is no record of it. It’s widely believed that zombieism is caused by magical bacteria, which is why The Z is such a quizzical place. That the infected only spawn from this place seems more like a curse.
|A nice place to keep your undead.|
The geographic area is a mild plateau featuring jungle flora and extreme humidity. Anyone who dies there rises, yet people who spend significant time there and die elsewhere do not rise. Zombies exported from The Z can spread the condition through fluid transfers, yet the infection spreads much less quickly in such cases. This has been documented by Red Brigadier Wisemen (see ‘R’) who were willing to subject themselves to the condition for the betterment of common knowledge. Searching for the cause is impractical do to the myriad flesh-hungry beings that live there, and because of The Z’s wardens.
Regardless of the cause, The Red Brigade has set up a barrier around the entire plateau, and thousands of believers spend their entire lives there, ensuring no zombies escape. They do not begrudge the risen, seeing it as merely the final change and likely one coming from The Fifth, their most feared god. A zombie is a fellow to be respected, just as a farmer who turns into a scholar is. What the Red Brigade do they view as both in service to the rest of the world, and ensuring peace to their undead brothers and sisters. The task is so great that many zealots seek other infections, such as vampirism and tentacalia, to assist in keeping zombies away from their borders.