During the cold war, lost cosmonaut Balor encounters the original Zone in earth orbit and despite the destruction of his spacecraft, is empowered sufficiently to survive and return to earth under his own power. Consequentially, due to the Zone effects coming down to earth with him and the political implications of the soviet union having a superhuman on their side, international tensions escalate into a full-scale nuclear war between NATO and the Soviet Union.
That was a few hundred years ago. Now, civilization is rebuilding.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Morgause. First, she tries to become a Nimuë;, planning to use the immense power granted to her as Nessie's Bride to become an unstoppable tyrant, only to not understand that it would be Nessie wielding the power, she'd just be a puppet and once her year was over and she regained consciousness/control over her body, while she'd still have superhuman powers as a Nimuë;, there were lots of other Nimuë;s preventing her from being much of a threat. Then she attempted to seduce Arthur of Caerleon, thinking she could use her authority as a Nimuë; to back his claim as the genuine King Arthur, only to discover that again, since she wasn't the current Bride Of Nessie, her claims had no authority. Then once pregnant she tried to kill Arthur of Caerleon so she could rule as his widow and their heir world have a clear path to the throne, but only managed to wound him and was forced to run away to avoid retaliation for trying to kill the king, attempting to flee to Arthur of Kernow's court as the attempted killer of his nemesis, only for Arthur of Kernow to recognize she was completely untrustworthy and kick her out. Her son, Mordred on the other hand takes after his father though he still loves his megalomaniac mother and is somewhat smarter than her.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Nessie is an aquatic kaiju who everyone perceives as a uniquely horrible monster and who possesses women sacrificed to her in a ritual each summer solstice as a means of communicating with her followers. She's also entirely benevolent and each summer, the prior year's sacrifice regains control of themselves while keeping a fraction of the superhuman power Nessie gifted them with, becoming the Nimuë;.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Lots of inspiration from Celtic and Arthurian mythology.
- Machine Worship: The Turingists are a subversion, they're a christianity spinoff that believes technology was a divine gift with Eden having been a place in which technological prowess gave everyone a standard of living far beyond that of their post-apocalyptic world and Original Sin was squandering said technological utopia in WW 3 rather than obeying the commandment be fruitful and multiply, spreading humanity across the universe so a war could never destroy it all. The Radical Turingists on the other hand, believe God is speaking to them through a computer made in part with machinery scavenged from inside Zones. They're certainly communicating with something, but it probably isn't what they think it is.
- Radiation-Immune Mutants: The fomorians, leading to their cargo cult around Balor's resting place in Lough Neagh since his intense radioactivity renders it lethally inhospitable to everyone besides them.
- Power Degeneration: Following his crippling during WW 3, Balor will overheat and melt down like a nuclear reactor if he ever leaves the cold waters of Lough Neagh. Technically, all rad-wizards will eventually undergo this and physically and mentally degrade into deranged monstrosities, more rapidly the more they use their powers. Merlin's entire strategy revolves around it, knowing that his enemies could eventually overtax his powers in a massed attack, but in doing so, they'd force him over the edge into becoming something that would be bad for everyone involved.
- Puppet King: Lots of people think Merlin is this to Arthur of Kernow. They're wrong, Merlin's deteriorating condition as a rad-wizard means he doesn't have much longer left and he's desperately trying to set things up so Arthur of Kernow's kingdom can continue without him serving as a walking MAD deterrence.
- Rightful King Returns: King Arthur, here to save England in its hour of greatest need. The problem is, there's two people claiming to be him. Arthur of Caerleon is the last heir of the Windsor monarchy and the UK military remnant including exiled Gurkha as his knights while Arthur of Kernow has Merlin. Ironically, they're both good people and respect each other.