Nowadays the outside world is a dangerous and lethal place. A huge, deserted barren land dotted with remnants of the World of Before. There, diseases and contamination are still commonplace and fights for the few resources left have turn their inhabitants into tough people, willing to use force to get what they need.
The old world as we know it, and even the existence of the Megalopoli themselves, are now but a legend, old wives’ tales not believed by the majority of the population.
Due to the lack of electric power or people who know how to build and fix complex devices, technology has been reduced to the most basic items. Everything is made from recycled scraps found from better times or the waste disposed of by the elites behind the walls.
But getting theses scraps is no easy task. The ruins of the old abandoned cities are home to mutant monstrosities, walking dead and even worst things, so only the fools dare to enter them.
Even so, through all the Wasteland there can be found small settlements, usually fortified in the most bizarre ways, that strive to prosper. Some function as commercial posts, others are the sole meaning for weak individuals to survive as a group, there are those with small greenhouses which provide the others with food, and some act as a fortified stronghold for a gang. In these places the most common currency are bullets, an asset valuable like no other in this mean world.
Besides all this, the Wasteland is home to countless mobs of gangers that comb it in search of resources or take them by sheer force, mutated freaks that inhabit areas where no one else would like to be, eccentric individuals able to recycle old pieces of technology or odd religious cults of various natures. And the strife between theses factions is the basis for this game.
Scrapbridge and surroundings
Trying to cover all the Wasteland in this book would be impossible, for all the world is now Wasteland and there exist countless factions all over its extension. We will focus instead on the zone surrounding Scrapbridge, one of the biggest and more important settlements in hundreds of miles around, in the territory of the former United States of America. You have to keep in mind that this area is still a vast region, where only the most relevant places in the present will be described. There are plenty of smaller settlements not mentioned in these entries, as well as countless ruins of old small towns, villages and buildings.
No doubt the most important population center of all this area is Scrapbridge, the main place of commerce you can find in the Wasteland in weeks of hard travel. It is located over the bed of what was a quite sizeable river, under the remaining of a huge bridge that used to cross it. This rests were used to build a labyrinth of houses and other buildings that hang from it, linked to the bottom of the riverbed by walkways and manual lifts, so the place has several stories of dwellings and shops. This settlement is well protected with two walls, similar to dams, that cover the entrance from the riverbed, and a series of barbed wire entanglements that block the access from the road over the canyon. But it’s not the walls what gives Scrapbridge its capability to survive, but the status it has earned among all factions in this fraction of the Wasteland. The city is neutral ground, a place to trade, get information or just relax, without being ever vigilant to an attack. Here violence is forbidden and the factions themselves are in charge of keeping it that way, punishing without mercy all those who break the rules. Everybody knows that Scrapbridge is a necessary place to resupply and trade, so gangs with the fiercest rivalry try to keep things running smoothly, and even the despicable mutards are allowed to come here and deal with the rest of the factions.
Hundreds of souls consider Scrapbridge their home, where some greenhouses tend to their feeding needs and there are a couple of wells to get some fresh water from underground. You can find houses, drinking holes, brothels… the only Paradise-like place you will find amongst the desolated landscape that surrounds it. They have even built a sand hockey stadium, a bloody and brutal sport (although not as much as the pit fights in Nowater) that entertains the population and already has several teams competing in a regular league. There is also a basic division in five quarters, controlled by a City Council formed by the five most influent representatives among them (these are actually the ones who come from the quarters adjacent to the bridge pillars, plus the one from the upper road that used to cross the original river).
– The Gross Way includes the old road which crossed the original bridge, as well as all the structures that have been built on both sides to serve as living quarters, general stores and all kind of service areas. These are the more solid and better constructed buildings of all the Scrapbridge levels, so here live the most wealthy and influent of their neighbours. This is also de quarter with better communications, as both sides of the bridge end up in an access route to the old Interstate 70, so they are heavily guarded with watchtowers and barricades, to avoid anyone approaching the city by surprise in either direction. Its spokesperson in the Council is the trader Corey Banks.
– The Beam was the first founded quarter in Scrapbridge, protected under the south pillar of the bridge, from which it takes its name. It is one of the biggest and most successful quarters in town, and quite quiet as far as it can be expected thanks to La Trini Gang, a band of local gangers who take care that things don’t go much out of the ordinary. It is also one of the places were more wealth changes hands in all the settlement, and the one with the most visitors thanks to all the stores, kennels, greyhound tracks and drinking holes. Besides here you can find a pioneering project known as the Skool, a kind of primary school where Bridger kids are taught some measure of basic knowledge before releasing them to do their will on the Wasteland. Its spokesperson in the Council is the ganger Dyna Dynamite.
– Shithole is, as its own name suggests, Scrapbridge’s unofficial garbage dump. Taking advantage of the stream that winds down the cliff side, almost all the waste from the south quarters is disposed of here. Yet there are still those who end up living here, in a shanty town of shacks, garbage piles and almost wild animals. Many orphans, old gangers traumatized by their years of fighting, or broken merchants end their days here, as well as the oldest or most withered whores, dismissed from Titgrab, who end working in the cheapest, filthiest and least advisable joint in all Scrapbridge: the Reyxol.
– Shelter is a small quarter nestled between The Beam and Yellow, christened like that because it is right under the bridge’s main structure and it is safe from many of the fallings and accidents that happen in other quarters. It’s made up almost entirely of the living places of many Bridger workers, who only want to earn a living day by day without poking their noses in any weird shit.
– Footlicker is tucked between Shithole and Druggietown, so at first thought it wouldn’t be a really nice place to live or be in, but in spite of the foul smell carried by the wind from the pigsties to the west, the junkies going and coming to and from the Cleavage, or the human scum populating Shithole, there is honest people living here or trying to make a living out of some modest business. One of the most notorious individuals to set his residence here lately, in an attempt to give the place some measurement of respectability, is no other than Dr. Sarious, who has founded the first chapterhouse of the Scrapbridge Methane and Meat Electro-proteic Guild. The name of this quarter comes from “something” living in the river, with the habit of sucking or licking the feet of any unwary traveler wanting to take a shortcut.
– Yellow is right over the watercourse of the Cleavage, so all its levels are raised above the riverbed thanks to the solid central pillar of the bridge. Back in the day it was called Riversight, but the ugly habit of its inhabitants of peeing from its sidewalks and railings directly into the river forced a change of name. This bridge’s pillar also has a disgusting yellowish color to it, due to those brickheads who think that peeing against the wall and letting it slide down to the river is more polite than doing it from the outside platforms. This place is somewhat more chaotic than The Beam, more violent and insecure, but in general you can describe it as a working-class quarter with ordinary families. Its spokesperson in the Council is the retired junker Lucius the Spyglass.
– The Promenade is not really a living quarter, but simply an open stretch of land that goes alongside the Cleavage riverbed. When people started to take the habit of taking long walks through this area, or crossing it to get quickly to the Covenant Square, all kinds of stalls and sales carts popped up like mushrooms to offer their goods to any passerby at the top of their owners’ voices.
– Armpit is the smallest of all quarters, cornered on the riverbed and with few levels ascending up to the Gross Way. Here abound catering services such as fast food joints, drinking holes and gambling dens. Name comes, with no doubt, from the foul smell created by the mixture of all the frying parties, boiling stews, barbeques, throw ups and sweating men working among stoves and fryers all over the place, which is not really pleasant. Despite its small size, this is a popular place for travelers to eat something and have a (quick) drink before moving on.
– Titgrab is Scrapbridge’s red light district. With great concern to the Scrapbridgers Union for Moral, Decency and Family, this quarter (which also has a representative in the Council for being next to the north pillar) this place has became a haven for prostitutes, escorts and pleasure business. No need to explain the origin of its name, you only need to know that this is the best place to find company from both sexes whether you are just visiting the Bridge or you live on the other corner. Local pimps and madams have created a quite effective society to protect their clients from excessive robberies or scams, so this is a relatively safe and quiet place to drop by. Its spokesperson in the Council is the pimp Antoine le Magnifique.
– Facesmack is, apart from Druggietown and Shithole, the least advisable place to visit in Scrapbridge. Gangs make this place their home and here prevails the law of the strongest. If you come here you must be quite confident in your own abilities to defend yourself, because no one is going to do shit for you if you run into trouble. The Tunnel Wackos, a band specialized in getting all types of unusual treasures making scavenger raids down the sewers and underground tunnels of the area, have their headquarters here; the entrance to the almost-mythical Tunnel 666 is also in this quarter. Its spokesperson in the Council is the retired pit fighter Facemuncher.
Apart from all these places you have to bear also in mind some areas apart from the Bridge itself, but that are also part of the settlement. They would be the Covenant Square, a place of trade, stalls and market, where the Citizen Council also has its regular meetings, named like that to honor the pact that put an end to the beefs and grudges among factions and established the city as neutral zone for anyone coming in peace. Druggietown, a zone of rushes and reedbeds nestled between Shithole and the outer lands, where local junkies, tramps and drunkards meet to spend the day doing nothing except… well, except the only thing they do. The stadium, a walled area with several stands where sand hockey matches take place, right north of the Covenant Square. And the outer farming lands, where only the most brave or desperate dare to live in isolated farmhouses where they grow anything they can from this barren land, or breed livestock to feed the city.
Early sketch of a Scrapbridge map, as drawed by Dr. Sarious
Although Junkers are nomad and call no place home, if they would it would be this one. This spot owns its name to Samantha, former Scavenger that left behind the dangerous live of her kind because of love. It is true that after that first love there have been at least a couple dozens more, but Samantha has kept her vow to stop wandering from one place to another and is now the self-proclaimed Baroness of this region (she tries to make people call it the Industrial Barony, but no one seems to obey). This place is a maze of steam-powered machinery, mechanical devices and unbelievable contraptions. Accidental explosions occur almost on a daily basis and the locals have earned for themselves a reputation of being nuts. But the fact is they have enough lethal machines to defend the place and, if you come in peace, it is the perfect spot to meet friendly Junkers to trade with.
The Twins rise as two giants amidst the Wasteland, keeping watch of their surroundings. These huge structures are actually the last two reactors still standing from an old nuclear power plant, but for a bunch of mutards they represent much more: home. Surrounded by miles of terrain where contamination is lethal for human beings, these mutards can live with relative safety in this place, led by a mysterious mutant who calls himself Prometheus. There are plenty of rumors about this mutard; some of them say that he only wants to live in peace, others claim that he is raising an army to conquer the Wasteland with his New Race. The only sure thing is that for now he hasn’t made any move, and even his very existence is still a mystery.
Nowater sits in the middle of an old lake, now completely dry. It is a dirty, smelly and almost lawless slum, surrounded by a wall of timber and metal plates. It wouldn’t be worth a single word here if it wasn’t the hotspot for the best and more popular pit fights in the entire region. Bets go on without a pause and bullets change hands at an astonishing rate. And, if you are desperate enough and can do decently in a fight, you can make a living in the pits and became a legend such as Eight Fingers, Rufus the Gutter o Lethal Rosie. Nowater is run by the Lords of the Pit, a pompous name that includes the four main families that pull the strings of all the betting and gambling operations in town. They have quite a good number of mercenaries on their payroll, so no one tries to take this business from them.
The Last Wastes
Everyone in this part of the Wasteland knows that beyond the Last Wastes there is only death. No one has ever gone there and returned to tell the tale, at least none who could prove it. There are always rumors about this place jumping from mouth to ear, people who know someone who went there and made it back, telling stories about a green Paradise of fertile land, or an endless graveyard, or a thousand different tall tales. There are quite a few individuals recently that swear to have heard violent explosions and seen huge smoke columns beyond the Last Wastes. But once again, who would believe any such story told about this place?
This fortified place is the headquarters and boot camp of the Fifth Reich, a gang of militiamen who follow a radical pro-human creed. Their leader, Aaron Schwartzman, found enlightment in some old documents from the 20th century about the German Nazi regimen and decided to call himself Feldmarschall and do the word of Adolph. As he wasn’t really sure whether there had already been a Fourth Reich or not, he cleverly decided to baptize his gang as the Fifth Reich. This is an odd bunch to say the least, that reveres the figure of Adolph Hitler to almost sick levels. All the members, whether men, women, white or black (yes, there are some black members in the Fifth Reich) have a little moustache tattooed over their upper lip, and a haircut with a fringe in the image of the mighty Führer. Although their looks may be quite grotesque, they are a dangerous lot and they don’t hesitate to kill if they need to. Their top activity is hunting mutards, which they see as an aberration of Nature and want to eradicate completely from Earth.
Shrine of the Watch
Shrine of the Watch is nested upon the ruins of an old abbey, where the flock of followers of the Eye of Fire gathers. Little is known about this folk, as their congregation is quite hermetic and, in the few occasions they leave their refuge, always in groups, don’t say a word but to affirm that they follow the word of Yarus. It is a general belief that most of the dwellings in the Shrine are underground, built inside a labyrinth-like series of tunnels and chambers. This level of secrecy is a breeding ground to lots of rumors. A lot of people affirm that all the members of this cult have been kidnapped as children; others talk about cruel rituals of blood; but the only true thing so far is that no one has witnessed any of these cultists doing anything suspicious.
Everything about this place is a mystery. Placed among several gentle hills, these are the remnants of an old Lenape settlement, an Indian tribe that dwelled on this land before the arrival of the white men. All the area is fertile with ghost stories, old spirits that haunt the surrounding landscape. But these hills are inhabited, as an odd group that follows the old Lenape teachings has settled here, and they even speak their original tongue, which is puzzling enough as this language has been dead for more than a thousand years. The very name of the place means “union” or “be a single mind”. This tribe is extremely territorial and the young braves don’t hesitate to kill any stranger that crosses the line of totem poles that act as border and warning.
Pigsty is the name of the ruins of a quite sizeable old city. As it tends to happen in these places, the ruins are home to hunting mutant monstrosities, still working booby traps and huge numbers of addlers. This place is easily detected from far away, because for some unknown reason it gives off an unbearable stench that reaches miles away from the ruins themselves.
This bunch of rolling hills and gentle slopes is the den of herds and herds of biters, small animals with a vicious ferocity and insanely huge jaws that make them really dangerous in big numbers. It is not a place where you would want to wander alone.
There are still some tall buildings of glass and steel standing amidst the ruins of this old city, one that suffered less than the rest in the nuclear showdown that brought hell to the States. When the Sun bathes them with its sunrays, they seem to shine like bright lighthouses all over the area. It’s one of the favorite places for the Junkers to comb in search of valuable scrap and objects, in spite of being a dangerous place like all other city ruins. Flocks of flying mutant creatures hunt every living being that wanders into their territory, and there are a higher number of booby traps and automated defense systems than usual.
Mines of Oblivion
On the western edge of the Biter Hills there are the so-called Mines of Oblivion, named after the fate that awaits to all who enter them. The entrance to the mines is hidden behind a concrete wall and a huge steel door, and no one has ever found out what is going on inside. But there are cyclic rumors about people being kidnapped through all the Wasteland to work in its tunnels as slaves.
There is almost no building left standing tall amongst the ruins of this city of the World of Before. Rubble blocks the streets and there is a lingering, thick, dark dust floating everywhere which darks sight even at midday. But knowing as you all know that old cities are dangerous places to stay, and being this one in particular even meaner than the average, the weirdest thing is to find out that there is actual people living in this region. We don’t have a frigging clue whether they are fully human or otherwise, as they always roam about with several layers of clothes on and with their full biohazard protections covering their faces. Everyone reckons they are ugly as fuck as the main reason to be always hidden under so much clothes. Every now and then one of them leaves the city to trade (always traveling alone) and, well, they don’t speak much and never get into trouble by their own choice. They seem to be living in some kind of underground shelter, in spite of the constant danger of Dustbin they search the ruins by day to scavenge anything they might need, and they are alright enough fellas to give you a warning before slitting your throat if you wander too much into their territory.
A bunch of working oil pumps and wells line around a big refinery, all of it behind sturdy walls guarded 24/7. This settlement belongs to the Black Blood Children, a congregation that worships oil as a mystic force of Nature provided by Tex’co, an old deity of sorts.
The Great Rift
Not so many places in the Wasteland get a name so clear about what’s going on. This is a huge rift ripped out of nowhere hundreds of miles long and deep enough to spit a green gob into it and not even hearing it hit the bottom. The only place to cross it without taking a huge detour is the Permaban Pass. You have to be careful around this place, though, as along the cliffs of clayey rocks you can find plenty of colonies of puppeteering hornets. If you see anyone or anything acting weird you better get away fast, as it is most probably an addlernet, a creature in which puppeteering hornets have put there eggs into and has become a sort of zombie controlled by the larvae inside. Some really sick and nasty shit, dudes.
If you want to cross the Great Rift without having to take a detour of a shitdred of miles, the Permaban Pass is your only way. In this place you can find a custom bridge made of metal sheets of any size, shape and origin, which looks to be about to plummet down anytime soon. The central stretch is raised up to prevent anyone from crossing unannounced. The guys watching over the bridge are as simple as a rattle’s mechanics: you pay, you cross, you don’t pay, go fuck yourself. That’s it. They don’t care about your appearance, whether you are a trader or a raider; you want to cross, you pay their fee. Of course there has been people who planned to take them down to avoid paying, but they have several dozens of explosive charges set under the bridge ready to be set off if anyone goes fucking around their place. So long, this dissuasive measure has worked like a charm.
The Acid Lands
The Acid Lands are a stretch of territory spanning from The Twins to the Tex’co Refinery. A vast piece of volcanic land with geysers, toxic vents, sulphur lakes, lava rivers and several other pleasant features. For some reason each passing year this territory gets bigger, and the older wastelanders say that their grandparents told them that region was once a quite normal place. People tend to avoid crossing this area, as it is rough, there is no water in miles, the atmosphere is quite poisonous and every now and then there are earthshakes and rockslides. Even so there are evidences that someone lives here, as people not very prone to bark lies have spoken about the legendary longleg riders.
The Living Forest
Far to the North of what we can consider the «surroundings» of Scrapbridge there is a place known as the Living Forest. We all know that most of the area we live in is a thirsty, dry ground forgotten by the Universe, but the Living Forest is quite the contrary. Plants have grown out of proportions and there are trees that you can’t see the top of, with such an abundance of vegetation that visibility is quite low. In this place that which is not poisonous can eat you whole, whether vegetal or animal. You can eat tasty fruits not to be found anywhere else, but you will need some brazen balls to go get them. Rumors abound about intelligent plants, wild men and women and trees that walk, but the most persisten one is the one about humanoid monkeys who ride dinosaurs. But don’t pay much attention, as no one has gone deep enough into this territory and returned to tell the tale.
The remains of Luckyland are undoubtedly one of the weirdest places in this corner of the World. This is an old fairground divided into four quadrants with different themes: Caribbean Corsairs, Samurai Showdown, Western World and Medieval Mayhem, all of them around a central zone consecrated to the coolest things of the late 20th century: Retro Revival. In spite of the time since this place was running, many of its structures still stand tall. This is due to the fact that many of the cutting edge human-looking animatronics (and others with more unsettling appearances, such as the Virgin Gamer and Hot Cosplayer mascots), were not only in charge of the different shows offered, but also had to keep maintenance routines that are still active. But their lines of code seem to be corrupted somehow, as any visitor is automatically seen as an intruder to be hunted down. This place is truly a state-of-the-art wonder worthy of visiting, although doing so will turn you into a shooting gallery target, quite literally.
No one knows what’s beyond the Great Sea, but they all have heard about the last civilized place on its shores: Fatwind. If you manage to cross the ultrant infested beaches you will eventually come to see the imposing structure of a lighthouse rising from the sea. It is build on a small island, but it is possible to get there without having to swim as the locals have put together several shipwrecks, along with planks, handrails and ropes to make a path above the water. Thanks to its easily defensible location it has survived for quite a long time without much trouble and its inhabitants are willing to trade with anyone who is not a complete jerk. This area is subject to strong storms and the sea is home to massive beasts, but even so these brave seafolk man small boats to go fishing along the coast. And yes, they have a funny look with their chitin armors and fancy hairstyles, and they eat disgusting things with scales, tentacles and shells, but as far as people go in this shithole called The Wasteland, they are pretty legal folks.
This settlement got its name thanks to the nauseating stench which rises from the greenish waters on which it is located, that in turn are the source of the main activity and income for the locals: megatroutasses fishing. Septic Tank is divided in two clearly divided areas: Upper and Lower Septic Tank. Down in the lower area, at the same level as the stinky water, there is a cluster of huts connected by floating platforms and catwalks. This is home to fishermen and outcasts, who survive in crowded conditions among the leftovers of the local fishing industry. The good part of the village is on the ruins of an old bridge, where local rulers live away from the infestations of those nasty leechcrabs (mean mollusks which feed from blood) and spend their time tormenting the poor souls in the lower zone.
Upon the ruins of an old airport exists one of the weirdest settlements you can find in this area: Boner. The place has been turned into a racing track of… anything. Here racing bets are everyday’s shit and everyone is always competing on seeing who’s got the bigger one. From Wasteland beast riders to addler chariots, everything is worth a bet. The only rule is to complete the agreed laps around the circuit and get back to the start/finish line alive, no matter what the fuck you do during the race as everything is allowed.
This settlement is ruled by the Hucksters, the most powerful group of merchants in the area, said by some to be descendants of Junkers who wanted to run their own businesses. They rule the place with sharp razors, which they will use to slice your scrotum open and use it as a spare change pouch if you try to outsmart them. They don’t give a fuck about your skin color, your size or your shape, only about the size of your money bag or the amount of merchandise you want to trade with; here you will find everything on sale, from a platepanty to a sexaddler for your darkest nights of desire. The marketplace is surrounded by shacks and containers known as the Stables, where the animals and wheels for the races are kept and prepared. Boner is called like that for the shape of the settlement watched from a distance. You know, an oval, a cucumber… Gosh, fuck it, ¡a stiff dick! That’s why almost everyone call this racing track «Dickus Maximus».
The settlement known as Wanderbury is one of the most bizarre ever to exist in the Wasteland due to its… well, wandering nature. Wanderbury was founded, along several generations of settlers, on the back of a gargantuan creature thought to have emerged from the ocean. This place, including several old buildings, is fitted with safety railings all around it to prevent people from falling down in the rare occasions in which their host moves, as well as with several cranes and winches used to lift and lower supplies from and to the surface. This bigass creature moves back and forth across the Wasteland, slowly but steadily and according to its own wishes, so it’s hard to tell where Wanderbury will be tomorrow. Those who want to hop on or off the town must use the ladders and stairs built around the legs of the creature and within the designated hours. It has been brainly confirmed that, for some reason only known the her, the creature moves each of its legs by turns exactly every 16 minutes. And you don’t want to be near them when that happens…
Mountains of the Lost Cult
On the northernmost part of the Scrapbridge area there is a mountain range where lay the remains of an old citadel known today only as the Fortress of Bad Mojo. These ruins stretch for several sloping acres across the landscape, in a combination of terraces, cliffs, ledges and bluffs. Stuffed among this rough terrain there is a core of buildings, alleys and walls, all built taking advantage of the mountains themselves. Fallen walls and collapsed buildings block many streets, and those structures still standing could fall apart if you farted too hard. Aside from what can be seen on the surface, there are plenty of tunnels and passageways open into the mountains. Except for a few lost exists scattered here and there, the only way to access those tunnels is through the ruins.
The Lost Cult mentioned in the name of this place is, contrary to what you might be thinking, a recent group of people created in the Scrapbridge area some 40 years ago (and not the name of the former owners of this fortress). The cult believed in some form of «superior beings» born in the stars that someday would come back to take them. They managed to recruit a caravan of hundreds of persons to head far North, beyond any place recorded in the maps, to reach the place where these beings would return to this world. But when they were crossing this mountains, they vanished without a trace. All of them, no hints, no bodies, no object left behind to give any clue.
Rumors, of course, are as numerous as hairs has my asshole. A mutant beast swallowed them all, or maybe these divine beings decided to pick them up further South to spare them the long walk. They might be living in the deepest parts of the old fortress as cannibals, or they were turned into haunting spirits due to an old curse. Whatever the truth is, this is a place no one would ever want to willingly visit.