Uncover a dystopian world in which the traditional roles of men and women are reversed, and a private company, Demetra, controls the global food market and, therefore, manipulates governs and institutions.

Demetra is set in a dystopian world in which, after an environmental cataclysm and the spread of an illness related to the Y-chromosome, the political and social power has entirely shifted into the hands of women, especially to those who are heading "Demetra", the private company which has conquered the control of the food industry in just a few years.
“It has so happened in all ages of the world
that some have labored, and others have, without labor,
enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits.”
The LARP takes place in the summer of 1989 at the business meeting announced by Demetra’s Board of Directors with the purpose of introducing the last new product which, until now, has deliberately been kept clouded in mystery. The social event will be a way to socialize with those people who hold the reins of the world, but that’s not all. Anyone who holds the seeds of ambition in their heart can sample the sweet taste of power, even if only for a brief instant.
“You see what power is – holding someone else’s fear
in your hand and showing it to them”

(Amy Tan)

January the 31st 1958. The secular pillars of society collapsed miserably, thus beginning a new era and opening the doors on a universe, completely alien and unknown till that moment. Radios and newscasts worldwide broadcast a tragic announcement: the probe Explorer I, launched by the United States, exploded midflight causing what is known today as the "Van Allen’s Disaster." The blast caused an alteration of Earth’s magnetosphere by covering its surface with Omega-radiation. The California Institute of Technology, perhaps in order to disguise a human error, affirmed that the fault could be attributed to a Russian sabotage. Whether it was sabotage or an accident, the consequences were devastating: soon the crops of cereals such as rice, wheat and corn began to deteriorate. The famine that followed was inevitable and devastating.

The first countries to collapse in the political and social chaos were the technologically backwards countries, whose economies were based mainly on agriculture. The roads were soon filled up with the hungry and the poor, and the mass graves were filled by dead bodies, buried hastily to avoid the spread of epidemics. Meanwhile, the more developed countries found themselves overwhelmed by tumult and protest demonstrations carried out by a terrorized population, facing the starvation of their children. The alternative foodstuffs, in addition to their exorbitant costs leading them to become exclusively available to the wealthy segment of society, were not enough to make up for the loss of the world crops of rice, wheat and corn. The increasing violence very soon brought the governments to employ the army against civilians, in an attempt to maintain the illusion of control. In the midst of this chaos, a company named Demetra gave the world a glimmer of hope.
“Good seeds, good harvest”
Demetra was a small military entrepreneurial company founded in 1939. Thanks to the Second Worldwar, Demetra blossomed and grew rich; it also expanded into the sector of food-production by exploiting the vast agricultural properties of the Rothschild family to meet the two principal needs of the moment: supply the soldiers with weapons and feed the population. It was not unusual for women to be called to work in time of war, since there was a high request for workers in the industry and in the fields. However Demetra was not only known for employing mainly female workers, but also for promoting women to the administration of the production departments.

At the end of the world war, the company invested the huge amount of accumulated resources in technological research: when the Disaster of Van Allen destroyed the greatest part of the crops, Demetra began to look for a solution. Strengthened by Rosalind Franklin's discovery of Dna, Demetra succeeded in producing a cereal that was resistant to the "Van Allen Virus". The company quickly obtained funds from all the governments and world powers, so that, at the beginning of the 1960s, Demetra already controlled the food market. Being the hand that feeds the world allowed Demetra to have a such an important social weight that it could keep the governments of the whole world in check. Basically, every word from Demetra assumed the value of a command. Even if there are a few who describe Demetra managers as vulgar profiteers, most of the world’s people see Demetra as the saviour of humanity and are thankful that its careful eye keeps loving watch over them so that further similar catastrophes won’t happen anymore.

Yet, it is known that there’s nothing more fleeting than power itself, and even if Demetra is now the one who determines the actions of the governments and rules the international political game, a new and fierce Russian company, the Mokoš (Мокош), is drawing attention to itself and seems to be willing to take over the dominant role on the market, like a modern David versus Goliath.
"If men were beautiful and intelligent,
they would be called women"

(Audrey Hepburn)

It was only by the end of 1962, when a limping and wounded world was moving towards a more serene future, that all of humanity faced a new and upsetting revelation. The WHO (World Health Organization) announced that unfortunately the consequences of "the disaster of Van Allen" had never stopped affecting the population. There turned out to be numerous, non-isolated cases, in which male individuals experienced a rapid senile dementia, deterioration of their physical condition and premature death. In less than one year, 200.000 deaths were linked to the new pathology. All victims were men older than 40 years. Thousand of families were deprived of fathers, uncles and grandparents, those who were until then the foundation of the family hierarchy. Consequently, leaving the new generations to grow up without elder male role models. As time went on, the incidence of the pathology increased instead of decreasing: about 90% of men under thirty suffered from incurable infertility, which caused a crash in the world demographic growth, and within 10 years their dramatic physical and mental decadence led to the consequent death.

Since the beginning of the crisis, Demetra allocated funds and high-skills personnel to study the pathology striking men. Thanks to this research, they discovered that the disease was a genetically transmissible illness: the electromagnetic waves derived from the blast of the Explorer 1 damaged the human Y-chromosome, generating a serious and permanent alteration. It was named the “Martha Chase syndrome” after the researcher that isolated the defect in the genome.

As a mother feeds and cares, so Demetra focused again on research in order to find a cure, but this time without success. The only result of the experimentation was a medicine based on androgenic hormones, a palliative which had only the effect of slowing down the impact of the illness. The “Martha Chase syndrome” upset the deepest nature of humanity, forever changing the social and cultural order.

No man now had the physical strength to accomplish heavy working, neither did they live long enough to fulfill any roles of authority, and the first symptoms of senile dementia often manifested well before the final phases of the syndrome.
"In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man.
If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

(Margaret Thatcher)

The consequences of Martha Chase's syndrome were as devastating as they were fast. Suddenly a generation of women found themselves having to cover all the leadership and authority roles that were previously the prerogative of men. At the same time, in the imagination of society in the following years, an image of a weaker male took hold, a male who somehow needed to be protected from the world and above all controlled. The decrease in births and the early male infertility soon brought men to be considered a precious commodity, available only to those women who were able to keep them safe and provide an adequate living standard. This meant that only women with a solid career or a significant economic stability could afford the luxury of a husband by their side, while women from the less wealthy classes found themselves having to share a partner, forming alternative family units. Men were allowed just a few non-strenuous occupations, because of their physical fragility, and in positions subordinate to women; their main task was to raise children and spend as much time with them as possible before the first signs of physical and mental decay would make it dangerous for the men to take care of children. The most resourceful could try, for a few years, to fulfill jobs such as teacher, secretary, assistant, but a virtue was made of necessity, and the most appreciated virtues for a man resided in his being husband and father, destined to a comfortable and safe life as a new "domestic angel". Not only were men to be safeguarded and protected to guarantee the survival of the species, but a collective feeling also arose of wishing to grant the weaker sex ease, comfort and lack of worry in their short period of life. On the other hand, the decrease in available men led to the onset of new social unrest, brought on by those women who had failed at their careers and who showed their dissatisfaction with continuous protests.

Now, in the '80s, the transformations in the construction of male and female identities, the imposition of new technologies simplifying domestic work and the progressive increase in wages thanks to the economic boom has allowed many men to devote themselves totally to their homes and to the enhancement and elevation of the paternal role. By now the radicalization, in the collective imagination of the figure of the masculine homemaker and the female "bread winner", is a standard everyone adapts to.

In a world that applauds the "perfect" man, good husband and father, there are also figures who, with their ideas, deviate from these unwritten laws. These are dangerous libertines, who attract the resentment and dissent of the most vigorous and radical supporters of this new social state.
"Blessed is indeed the man whom God corrects!
Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty;
for he wounds, but also binds;
He strikes, but His hands also heal."

(5, 17 – 18; 1994)

As every change evolves through chaos and suffering, even the one faced by the world could only create new clashes and give birth to new orders. Those who suffered the most were the ones who, immovable and strong of their old convictions, set themselves against change as rocks placed to stem the flowing of a river. If traditions could be a strong link with the past, soon they were no longer enough to counteract the change, especially with the fall of the most conservative men and the pressing need for a new spiritual reference in those people who had experienced the tragedy on their skin. These events soon led the Church to the need of renewing itself, opening its doors to the Prioresses, who flanked the Bishops in their councils, until they almost completely replaced the Bishops, leading to the great election of 17 February 1970 in which a woman became the first Popesse with the name of Benedetta I. If there are women and men who have found faith in God during those years of pain and suffering, it is also true that new trends of thought spread within the same Church. Where once women were seen as pernicious temptresses, now many are wondering if it hadn’t been the Divine hand itself punishing men for their arrogance, sending the illness as a new terrible plague to teach those presumptuous sons a lesson about their mistakes and to show them their terrible fault.
  • January 31, 1958: The Explorer I probe, launched by the United States, explodes during its flight causing the Van Allen disaster. The California Institute of Technology claims the accident is due to a Russian sabotage. Following the explosion, the charged particles of the Earth's magnetosphere undergo an alteration and invest the Earth's surface in the form of omega radiation.
  • March 1958: The first effects of radiation are evident in a famine of cereal crops: first were wheat, rice, corn and oats.
  • May 3, 1958: the United Nations Organization raises the alert and declares the World Crisis while the poorest countries are the first to be torn apart by the Famine.
  • October 1958: it’s discovered that the main cause of death of cereal crops is a virus that has mutated due to omega radiation.
  • December 1958: famine has a global reach, causing millions of deaths.
  • January 1959: the US company Demetra announces having found a disease-resistant wheat variant, thanks to Rosalind Franklin's DNA studies. National funds are diverted to the company and its research laboratories, in order to stem the crisis.
  • Spring 1960: Demetra begins to distribute flour at cost price mainly to the populations of the United States of America, where the rationing of the resources is stilleforced: people praises Demetra as their savior.
  • Summer 1960: Europe, Russia and Japan are indebted to Demetra, that in exchange for its contribution, requires to be able to manage the research funds for the assisted countries.
  • September 11, 1961: the World Food Program (United Nations Food Assistance Agency) is born, headed by Demetra managers themselves.
  • October 15, 1962: a warning is issued - the omega virus has also had repercussions on the human race by altering the Y chromosome and weakening men.
  • January 1963: Kennedy dies of complications. News that the disease led him to dementia and insanity spread. He had been hospitalized, dying after a few month.
  • Spring 1963: the world faces a crisis due to the increasing cases of male dementia and physical weakening. The first women appear in the governments of many countries and many male political figures "disappear" from the public scene.
  • December 4, 1963: Pope Paul VI announces that following a consultation with the Council of Bishops, the Prioresses of the female monastic orders are admitted to the Council itself. He will be remembered as the "enlightened" Pope.
  • June 1965: The first female American President is elected.
  • February 17, 1970: the first Popesse with the name of Benedetta I gains the papal throne.
  • Summer 1987: Mokoš, a new import-export company of Russian origins, appears on the market.