Antarctica has forever been the "End of the Earth" for many explorers throughout the ages. The Antarctica Treaty, signed by many nations in 1959, banned military activity, weapons testing, waste dumping, and resource exploitation on the continent, and a few research stations were set up by various nations seeking to learn more about the frozen continent.
This all changed in 2006, with the corporate Resource Rush. Several corps moved in to do oil surveying, but eco-terrorists slowed their efforts, and nothing much in the way of actual resource harvesting got accomplished. When the Awakening arrived, several severe storms of ice, wind, and hail pelted the continent constantly and sent the corporations to look for greener pastures to exploit.
A few decades later with the passing of Halley's Comet in 2061, activity began to pick up again in Antarctica, as corporate research stations discovered natural orichalcum deposits in the ice and snow, as well as some bizarre magical phenomena. The first team to find natural orichalcum was a Japanese scientific team in the Transantarctic Mountains. This was shortly followed by a vein found in the Queen Maud Mountains. In June of 2062, a "city" was found by high-resolution radar in the Bently Subglacial Trench. This was shortly followed by the discovery of other geometric shapes all within 40 km of Mt. Kirkpatrick.
The main political powers maintaining bases on Antarctica are the UCAS, Russia (although until Yamatetsu stepped in, their Vostok station was abandoned for decades), Britain, and Japan. The main corporations doing research in Antarctica are Ares (allied with the UCAS), Yamatetsu (allied with Russia), several Japanese megacorps (allied with Japan), and Saeder-Krupp (independent).
There also are hundreds, perhaps even thousands of "Isolates", survivalists and prospectors who brave the ice and snow and actually live in the wilderness of Antarctica, occupying abandoned research stations, oil rigs, and other forms of man-made shelter. They are generally considered "pesky squatters" by the corporations and governments, but not much could actually be done to "evict" them.
Western Antarctica is next to both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and is bordered by the Trans-Antarctic Mountains inland. The Trans-Antarctic Mountain range extends from the Ross Sea to the Weddell Sea. The Antarctic Peninsula (an extension of the Andes mountain range) is one of the few places not covered in ice and extends toward South America.
Eastern Antarctica, which encompasses over two-thirds of the continent, is a large plateau buried under ice that is several thousand meters thick. Strong winds blow across the wide expanse almost constantly. The center of the Antarctic, called the Polar Plateau, is basically a continent-wide glacier. The glacier shelves of the Antarctic advance hundreds of meters every year, dumping ice into the bordering sea. The actual ice mass surrounding the land of the continent varies according to the season, but it extends for kilometers from the land mass in all directions.
Antarctica is one of the few places which has a hole in the Ozone layer (Australia also has similar troubles), which has existed since the 1980s.
Magic in Antarctica behaves strangely. The entire continent is a gigantic mana surge area. The Aurora Australis waxes and wanes over the continent, especially in winter, and acts as a mana flare when it is fully expressed. The unpredictable nature of magic in the region has contributed to the establishment of remote incarceration facilities for criminal mages (and other equally dangerous criminals) by Revlup Security.
- The Revlup corporation operate a number of private prisons in the region 
- A number of countries and corporations maintain bases here - the UCAS/Ares has McMurdo, Russia/Yamatetsu has Vostok, Britain maintains Halley station, and Japan has the Showa Research Facility 
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Antarctica. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Shadowrun Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
This page forked from Wordman's The Sixth World: A geographical index to the world of Shadowrun