Unlike other towns in the wastelands, the town of Bleak Wood has not been built from the wreckage of days bygone. While the villages of the void are made of ramshackle huts built from the ruins of bombed buildings and the tribes that dwell in the decaying remains of trains and trucks the town of Bleak Wood has been constructed from the first stone and up, residing in a place where no other town has ever stood. Well, almost, for two buildings did stand here when the first stones were laid: A huge concrete and steel arms depot of some four floors above ground, and unknown floors below, as well as a guard bunker that now serves as a storage facility.
Bleak Wood is a walled compound, completely surrounded by a two meters tall red brick fence, with wooden watch towers guarding the perimeter and barbed wire covering its top. Inside mankind has made a first effort to rise again, and even though life is tough here, the town has made progress. From this center of civilization reborn, warrior outposts have sprung as far as twenty kilometers away, protecting the hinterland of Bleak Wood.
Inhabitants: 1358 people, 130 mutants (weak mutations) 38% male population.
Armed Forces: 50 Sentinels of the Town Watch aka the Watchmen. (Full kevlar body armour for the officers and various small firearms for all Watchmen).
Origin: Erected near an abandoned arms depot. Nowadays the arms depot is the mansion of the Warden. Under the reign of Warden Griffin, the scientists of Bleak Wood were trained in chemistry, computer programming, biology, metallurgy and medicine. Thirty years ago they begun the Bleak Wood experiment which resulted in the albino birch wood to the north of town. In latter years the efforts of the science staff has focused on other, secret research.
Ruler: The Warden of Bleak Wood: Alec Griffin
Export: Tech equipment, woodwork, slaves and ammunition
Import: Grain, vegetables, horses, spare parts, fuel, advanced technology.
Buildings and Areas of Interest
The streets of town are narrow and the buildings are made of aluminum plates, concrete or bricks. Neon signs display the name of shops and coloured light bulbs hang over the streets, illuminating them in a garish display of colours. Not everyone has a place to live and nearly every alley have one or two hobos living among the garbage and offal. There is no sewer, but each residence is bound by law to bring their waste outside the perimeter of the town. Legally Nomad Town is outside, but citizens trying to empty their offal there have a tendency to end up dead.
South Wall Storage Facility:
The South Wall Storage Facility has been erected from the remains of the guard bunker that protected the arms depot before the Great War. Today it is run by Marcus Maximus, a fat old man with a reputation for liking young girls and vodka. It is the town’s only high security storage facility and throughout the eight floors of the bunker are several lockers and cells where valuables can be stored. Lately the rumours say that Marcus Maximus has rented an entire floor to Wastelander scavengers that has captured a rather ominous herd of surviving pre-war mutant killer beasts, used by the armies of the ancients to wreak havoc among the lines of the enemy. While none have seen these horrors, their wretched cries and snarls have kept more than one child up at night during the last week. This is also where the PC group has stored the unique artifact that they found in an old, abandoned military research facility that the ancients once used. Had it not been for Ceres losing her water flask and digging in the sand, the hidden entrance to the facility would never have been found. Now the artifact, that carries the holy sign of Radiatos – The Cloud of Destruction, is safely stored in secure vault number 13 until a buyer presents himself.
The Space Port:
The space port is located at a small plateau due east of town, elevated about 40 meters above the rest of the buildings. It has been constructed by the Warden in conjunction with the space dwellers. About every third month one of the cargo ships of the space dwellers lands to trade some of their advanced munitions and technology in exchange for female slaves and captured mutants. The members of the Faculty are astounded by the level of sophistication the technology of the space dwellers have achieved. The space port is off limits to anyone, but the watchmen.
The faculty is where the science staff of about 30 devout and highly skilled scientists and doctors performs their research. The Faculty is off limits for non-sentinels and non-scientists, but the north wing of the low brick building is open for emergency surgery and during the bi-yearly rounds of public health care. The members of the Faculty are held in high esteem throughout the city, and are allowed to live in the very best quarters of town.
Nomad Town is a semi-permanent settlement of nomads dwelling in tents outside the walls of Bleak Wood. The actual inhabitants of the tent town varies, but there is nearly always someone there. The nomads provide spiritual healing and religious services, and they trade at the Bazaar. It is common knowledge that names can be left under the bucket outside of the only red tent in town, and the one who put the name there will receive a visit from one of the Nomad Fatebringers within an uncertain period of time. Once a price has been agreed upon, the named individual must pay with his life. This is a fate that few have survived.
The Bazaar is the marketplace of the town, and as such it is never quiet. People come here to trade, whether it is night or day. The main currency at the Bazaar is ammunition, and here you can buy such things as: weapons, armor, equipment, food, livestock, slaves, horses, vehicles or even advanced technology, whenever it is salvaged from the ruins of the ancients. Spirit weed, alcohol and various performance adjusting drugs are also available at the market, and is not regulated by Bleak Wood law. The hardship of the post apocalyptic wastelands makes being a junkie foolish at best and downright suicidal at worst, yet drugs are sold for battlefield use, medical use or even for purposes of recreation.
Under the North Watch Tower, lies the hatch that leads down into the catacombs known as the Prison. A network of brick tunnels leading from the North Tower to the Warden’s building, these tunnels contains damp cells worthy of a true medieval dungeon. The law of Bleak Wood prohibits theft, murder and disobeying the Warden and the Sentinels of the Watch. Anyone unfortunate enough to end up in prison do regret their actions as torture is legal and practiced with wild abandon. Many of the cripples encountered in town have become so because of a stay in prison.
The Barracks of the Town Watchmen has been placed on the ground floor of the Warden’s Building. Captain Soule Bleakwood leads the detachment of soldiers and during his five year reign, no hostiles have breached the town defences.
The Warden’s Building
The Warden’s Building lies on the floors above the barracks. Nothing much is known about those floors, except that the Warden daily meets his advisors there along with the Captain of the Watch. The Warden’s building used to be the old arms depot and is made of layers of concrete and steel. Every other month Warden Griffin appears on the upper floor balcony to hold a speech to the citizens of Bleak Wood.
Ye Donor Shoppe & Bargain Implants
The Shoppe as it is called amongst the inhabitants of Bleak Wood is where desperate men go to sell their spare organs to finance gambling debts, or to pay off loan sharks. It is owned by “Surgical Damien”, a Faculty outcast. The Shoppe deals in organs and implants. The rumors even say that Damien sometimes acquires his implants by removing them from their previous owner, a practice that would fall under murder, theft and grave robbing by Bleak Wood law (It is illegal to remove body parts of the deceased, not to acquire his personal effects… Implants are considered body parts). No one has been able to prove these rumors though, and the only thing that can be proved is that Damien’s implants have a tendency to fail at inopportune moments. Still, if one wants an implant done, Damien’s place is the only known facility that provides such services.
Drug’s place is a bar of sorts by the west gates of the town. As the name indicates, the bar provides whatever the client desires. The bar’s wenches serve alchol, injects drugs into the blood vessels of the client and even provide sexual favours if the client has enough ammunition to pay for the royal treatment. It is owned by Steroid Anne, a muscular ex-mercenary that keeps her wenches in line.