|LUND: THE WALL OF THE WEST|
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not take or buy slaves.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not assault a surrendered or helpless man.
- You shall not break hospitality that is rightfully given.
- You shall not work against Lund, or her people.
- You shall not eat of the flesh of a man or woman, or anything sentient.
- You shall not imprison a person against their will, save that they have broken one of these laws.
When the big one hit, no one was terribly surprised when the major command center of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base fell under the bombardment of multiple warheads. The sprawling base was utterly destroyed, leaving a deep, glowing crater in its place. The nearby city of Dayton and most of its suburbs were melted, and all that was left of those caught in the open were shadows seared into stone.
The few survivors were on the road when the bombs came down. They fled in all directions, though many only delayed the inevitable. The fallout from the nuclear devastation was immense, and those who didn’t run far enough quick enough died as radiation stripped them of life. Those who went north survived, and formed around the town of Picker. Those who went east holed up in Lund. Those who went west kept going until they reached Deanna, and those who went south joined up with other survivors in Sanity.
As time went on, the survivors made do as best they could. Radiation sickness took many, biological plagues took their share as well, but enough survived to carry on. Once the worst was over, the corporations emerged to reclaim the world. Lund, Picker, and Sanity ended up under the control of Midwest Positronics, a Sanity-based corp that specialized in robotics and heavy machinery. They were able to run supplies and medicines up to the settlements around the Wright-Patterson crater, and in return received salvage, and a cheap labor force. Midwest Positronics was not a benevolent corporation, however. The settlements that it supplied had no choice as to their governance, and any protest or resistance was met with lethal force. MP used self-autonomous drones to run prison camps of dissenters, camps built well into lethally-irradiated areas. Political prisoners, rabble rousers, and others were guarded by uncaring metal machines as they withered and died from the poor food, rampant diseases, and unceasing radiation.
When the corporate wars begun, the settlements of Lund and Picker were prime battle sites. Hall-Mart and Warhound forces clashed with Midwest Positronics, and MP responded by instituting a mandatory draft, using its living recruits as expendables, and generally demonstrating a lack of concern for its satellite settlements.
Finally, the folks of Lund had enough.
The surviving inhabitants of Lund included quite a few military personnel, and their families, from WPAFB. Some of them knew where the auxiliary arms caches could be found. While most of them were in the irradiated area around Dayton, enough of them were outside of the “Instantly Fatal” part of the crater, to make salvage possible, for a price….
The price was the health and lives of the ones who volunteered to retrieve the weapons. They had measured, and they had calculated, and they knew what would happen. They knew going in, that 60% of them would be dead within 30 days. They knew that of the survivors, all of them would likely be bedridden for the rest of their short lives. They also knew, that they would have at least a week, where they would still be able to walk. Still be able to fire a gun. Still be able to use the weapons hauled out from the nuclear furnace of the crater.
And in a week, they won. They are remembered to this day as the “Ghosts of October”, the hundred volunteers that fought for their freedom even as their internal organs were melting inside of them. Each morning they’d bury their dead, and go out hunting for corporate kills. Corporate forces were optimized for battling each other, and armored against civilian-grade weaponry. They were often ill-trained conscripts, fighting in territory they didn’t know. The Ghosts had military training, military-grade legacy weapons, and the knowledge that if they failed, their families would be killed. They won. On the morning of Halloween, the quarrelling corporations declared a cessation of hostilities. Grateful Lundsmen retrieved the remains of the Ghosts, and buried them along with their weapons under vast slabs of concrete. Their tombs were hidden throughout the lands that Lund claimed, and their names are passed down in the schoolhouses of Lund, as true heroes.
Lund settled back to try and get on with surviving, but events would not let them rest for long. They’d just finished burying the Ghosts of October, when magic returned to this world. This put a definite pause in the nearby corporate wars, but eventually the fighting started once more.
It didn’t last long before the dragons woke up.
The military council has sealed records of this time, and forbidden Lundsmen from talking with outsiders of what went on during this period. Most outsiders believe that Lund negotiated with at least one dragon, but no one knows the truth of it. What IS known, is that the dragons have never attacked Lund, or demanded tribute from them.
It is about this time that Lund started construction of the great western wall. They sent out scavengers in all directions but west, and started gathering materials and weapons. They absorbed or conquered all settlements within ten miles, and in the space of a few months, set up a mandatory draft. Everyone in Lund was to be a part of the war effort. Everyone in Lund was to be either a soldier, or a supporter. Those who didn’t like it could leave, but they couldn’t take anything beyond bare necessities with them.
Warhound, thinking they were going to come west, strengthened its own forces and prepared for an assault.
As it turns out, the corporate preparations were not wasted… But the foe they faced was NOT Lund.
A year after magic’s return, the dead walked out of the Wright-Patterson crater.
Warhound and Lund were the only forces prepared to fight, and they stopped them from going east or west. The north and the south, though, were devastated. The already-troubled city of Sanity vanished in a matter of weeks, and Midwest Positronics became no more. Their robots, built to fight the living, could not handle the hordes of the walking dead. To the north, the town of Picker was besieged for years, and only held out as long as it did thanks to a joint Hall-Mart and Lund venture… But in 2205, it fell.
Lund has held the wall ever since, and the enemy has shown no signs of slowing. And along with walking corpses, there are rumors that stranger, darker creatures join the battle in ever-growing numbers. The Lundsmen are tight-lipped about the things that they’ve fought, but you can read their battles in their eyes.
In 2208, Lund suffered a major setback. Evidence of a cannibal cult surfaced in Zane, and the death of an arbiter in that town enraged the folk of Lund. The military council sent a punitive force to root out the cult by force, and ended up panicking the folks of Zane. Fearful and unprepared to fight the Lund army, the council of Zane accepted a standing offer from Hall-Mart, and became a franchise town. Hall-Mart immediately moved forces into the town, and a fierce battle ensued.
Lund was unable to dislodge Hall-Mart forces from Zane, and out of the 300 men that road east, only six returned west. Arbiter Stone, a revered veteran of the first corporate wars, died as well.
The Lundsmen had no time to mourn, as holdings in the East gave up their affiliation with Lund, and the trickle of goods that came into the settlement from the east dried to a standstill. The army of Lund, now 300 men and uncounted amounts of supplies short, is pulling back and going purely defensive. The fight on the wall has never been more bitter, and doesn’t look to be improving anytime soon.
Lund is a military settlement, ruled by a military council. Everyone in Lund must either join the army, or support the army in some fashion… Children are no exception, though they are given lighter duties, kept up on safer spots of the wall, and generally granted more free time. Lund is not a good place to raise a family, in any case. The wall has been breached before, and there are always threats that can hurdle it with little trouble. When the wind blows from the west, radioactive dust from the crater poisons crops, causes sickness, and exposes Lundsmen to a few more rads. When the wind blows from the east, plague dust from Colum taints crops, sickens the healthy, and kills the sick. Windbreaks help, but there’s just too much death all around.
You won’t live long here, unless you’re tough and smart. Even then, something’ll get you in the end.
For all this, Lund has a few advantages going for it. Through ingenuity and careful salvaging, they have managed to create four manufactories that are about on par with 1950’s era machine tool capability. Though there are things they can’t easily reproduce, these facilities are not dependant upon nanites, skilled craftsmen, or outside corporate interests. They’re powered by prisoners pushing turbines, a practice that has garnered Lund a lot of criticism in the past. The manufactories can be used to put together cloth, wooden goods, tools, bullets, simple firearms, gas masks, and a number of fairly simple metal , fabric, and wooden goods. They’re the source of Lund’s trade with the western Hio settlements, and a few of the more primitive eastern ones.
Lund also provides law and protection for settlements that accept its governance. Settlements that accept their help become “Holdings,” and usually benefit from the arrangement. Holdings are required to follow the seven laws of Lund;
Holdings ship goods and recruits to Lund, receiving goods and protection in return. And as long as Lund gets their taxes and a few trade advantages, they don’t mind if a given holding trades elsewhere. Holdings are governed in whatever way the holding wishes, but everyone in the holding is subject to the laws, and must answer to Arbiters, specialized enforcers and agents of Lund who ride circuits through holdings and make sure that people are obeying the laws.
If you were born in Lund or recruited by their forces at a young age, you were raised to honor and revere the town’s founders and heroes for the sacrifices they made for the greater good. You were taught that cowardice is contemptible, and duty comes before any single person. Death was no stranger to you, even at an early age. At the very least, you were taught to fight, and you were taught to bandage the wounded, and those skills have served you well.
The flag of Lund is a blue star on a white field, commemorating the military ancestry of Lund. The town itself numbers about 8 thousand, give or take the activities of the crater, and new recruits shipped in from the holdings.
Treatment of Outsiders
Lund holds no prejudice against metahumans, magic, or most mutants. As long as you are willing to fight or help aid the fight, there is a place for you in Lund. Religion is another matter… If your religion includes pacifism, worship of dark entities, or other behavior that distracts from the fight or flouts the laws of Lund, then you will find no welcome in that town. Expect to be encouraged to leave, unless the council has a reason for wanting you there. The Meek, for example, are tolerated but kept well to the rear whenever they visit, and are very politely asked to leave within the hour that they are done trading or resting.
Robots and other artificial beings are usually destroyed on sight in Lund. They’ve had to deal with too many marauding rusters, and drones corrupted by crater forces, to ever rest easily around artificial life.
Lund does not tolerate ghouls, who are in clear violation of the seventh law by their existence and continued life. Sane and well-behaved ghouls, or infected veterans of the wall might be escorted to the borders of Lund and told never to return, but most are killed on sight.
If you have allegiance with a corporation, then you will find your stay in Lund unpleasant and as short as possible. Lund does not like corporations. They’ve been through too much bad history with them to ever trust or accept any corporate force any time soon. With that said, the priority of Lund is making sure that the horrific forces of the crater are prevented from moving east. To that end, they’ve got no problem with temporary alliances with anyone who’ll fight. In the past, they’ve pulled joint ventures with Warhound and Hall-Mart, and will do so again if it’s the best way to achieve their goal. They also need some of the high-tech chemicals and medicines that only the corporations can provide, to fend off radiation, disease, and crop death, so they cannot sever all ties… They pay extremely high prices for the trade of these substances, often with material that they can ill-afford to sell. Still, the Lundsmen make it very clear that they will never yield their independence to any corporation, ever again.