By Fur and Fang
The Thirteen Pillars Region
The setting of this campaign starts around the area of what was known in 21st-century America as Colorado Springs, Colorado. Once a small city, the effects of the war and extinction of humanity, and the new proliferation of mutant animals, have fractured the city into thirteen settlements, with some small homesteads here and there. They have united under one government and the collective is referred to as Thirteen Pillars.
The General Area
The Thirteen Pillars region is generally a very dry and windy area, though it does have its fair share of forests (admittedly one of the biggest is actually just north of the barrier) and rocky outcroppings.
(More to come on this subject.)
Overall, the world after the War of the End regressed in technology greatly. By the time of the campaign, most areas, including the Thirteen Pillars, have clawed their way back to about 1980s tech. However, it is well-documented that there are still higher-tech relics just waiting to be found all over the region and small parts of the area have technology pushing well into the 23rd century AD (which is when the war happened). None of this includes the radiation barrier (see “Current Events”), whose behavior defies any known radiological studies from before the war (logically, that thing should be cooking everyone inside the region).
None of the tech in this region is capable of galactic or space travel, though. That technology is well-known to only exist in a region that was once called the Everglades – far, far away from this area.
While lifestyle varies greatly from region to region, the general rule is that there is very little in the way of idle entertainment – no television or radio stations reach here ever since the destruction of Academy Springs and entertainment consoles are unheard-of outside a rare few households. As such, the daytime is mostly work and people tend to use low-tech means of entertainment to relax, such as board games.
(More to come on this subject.)
In the month leading up to the events of our story. there has been increasing difficulty trying to get goods in and out of the Thirteen Pillars region. This is attributable to the rise of a radiation barrier. It started weak, at first, but then got to the point where no land traffic could get in or out – any organic thing would be destroyed rapidly and any electronics would be permanently ruined. However, air traffic could still get in, and the radiation was somehow contained within the barrier to the point that someone could walk within five feet of it with no ill effects.
Then, the barrier grew… and grew… slowly becoming a dome. Eventually, it got to the point where even air traffic couldn’t get through except for the ones with VTOL capability. Now, in the day before our story begins, the radiation barrier has become completely sealed – even reaching underground.
While the barrier was increasing, there has been an increase in bandit attacks within the region, further straining resources in the area.
The Settlements of the Springs Region
Enforcement Agency: 13PPD – Thirteen Pillars Police Department
Notes: The seat of government for the Thirteen Pillars region. When the radiation barrier sealed, a meeting was called in one of the few surviving restaurants in the area… only to be infiltrated by a group called the Widow’s Fangs, who had never made their presence known in the region before but are known outside it. Though there were numerous survivors of the ensuing attack, the entire settlement has been destroyed and is unlivable by any stretch… which is a shame, because this area housed the one TV and radio station that still reached the citizens in the Thirteen Pillars.
Enforcement Agency: Western States military, “Drop Bears” (rumored)
Notes: Very little is known about this area to the public because it is tightly controlled by the military, barring one stretch they allow for the passage of goods and one town near the south end that is a major supply center. What is known to the public is that this is a major airfield for the Western States (though there are a few ground vehicles here too), and also the location of a satellite system called NORAD. There is a rumor going around that a few pilots stationed in this area are associated with the new world’s first multinational military force, but any further details tend to be spoken behind closed doors.
Enforcement Agency: The Widow’s Fangs
Notes: Corral Bluffs was once a major shopping center and residential area for the Thirteen Pillars region. Almost as soon as the barrier hit, the stores got ransacked. The people still live here, but they live in cramped squalor, with the best-armed people squatting in the old storefronts. To make matters worse, the area is now under the rule of the Widow’s Fangs terror group.
Enforcement Agency: Triple Synapse
Notes: Before the barrier, Manitou housed one of the two major shopping centers in the Thirteen Pillars and doubled as a major center for art and entertainment. Some vestiges of this still exist, especially at night when the sun falls, but a lot of small gardens have cropped up in the backyards of the citizens since the barrier hit. The local enforcers are led by an odd trio possessing old-world construction technology and one of their more notable achievements is turning the place into a power structure for the Thirteen Pillars – primarily the maintenance of portable power devices (mainly batteries).
Enforcement Agency: Jet Stream
Notes: This is one of the more pristine areas of the Thirteen Pillars. A single railway (that, stories have it, existed before the war) and a few small shacks encircle the heavily-forested mountain, known in the old world as Pikes Peak. Atop the mountain lies a single stone building that has a view of practically the entire Thirteen Pillars region. This area currently is considered a historic nature preserve, with its primary guardians being a pair of troopers in jetpack suits – a technology that is generally considered strictly old-world.
Enforcement Agency: Command Force
Notes: As the name might suggest, this area is a primary education center. Even after the barrier hit, the teachers that live in this area do their best to educate, going to children’s homes if necessary. The more heartless of bandits like to target this area to try and take captives, much to the chagrin of the marsupial crew that runs security here.
Enforcement Agency: Perseus Council
Notes: Monument is the primary research center for old-world technology. With the rise of the barrier and the rise in attacks meant to steal the technology, one group has emerged above all the rest – the Perseus Council. The Council hires its own guards and tends to rule with a very strong grip that aggravates any traveler through the region – no one denies the iron grip is sorely needed, however, considering the fact that this neighbors two very hostile areas.
Enforcement Agency: Pepper Sting
Notes: Cheyenne is a noteworthy region because it houses a scavenged power plant. This allows its citizens to maintain a decent style of living compared to most of the areas of the Thirteen Pillars, and allow this region to become the primary center for performance art. However, this also makes it a prime target for bandits and Broadmoor’s gangs. Either as a direct result or as a quirk unique to the area, every citizen of the Cheyenne region is mandated to own a gun and know how to use it. These teachings are mandated by local law enforcement and training is done by a special group who are rumored to be ex-military.
Enforcement Agency: Crystal Flood
Notes: As one of the few regions with access to its own water supply, Fountain Valley is the closest thing the region had to a local food hub. However, little has happened here since the barrier hit – the rumor goes that the area became staunchly isolationist and refuses to deal with the outside world. Few who venture here ever return and those that live speak of a pair of terrifying Hour users that handle the region’s defenses on their own.
Enforcement Agency: Arkwright Project
Notes: Among the stones and crossroads of this region lies several research centers focused on the three arts of magic – aethermancy, biomancy, and psychomancy. There are some rumors that they delve into other fields of research as well, but with the barrier’s emergence, the entire area has consolidated for now under the primary research group, the Arkwright Project. Owned by a family of weasels, the Arkwright Project employs their own guards for the area but otherwise leaves most business to run as usual.
Enforcement Agency: Peak Squadron
Notes: A lot of hills and hiking trails cross through this residential area, making it a prime point of traffic for the Thirteen Pillars. It is also a major hub for athletic training in all respects. These attributes were largely unaffected by the barrier, although the homes are not as well-kept. The crew that secures this area is comprised of some of the most physically-fit Hour users known to the entire Thirteen Pillars… though several have some form of disfigurement or major injury.
Enforcement Agency: Ardent Syndicate
Notes: High technology and aging apartments once dominated this place. Now, without the massive amounts of power needed to maintain any state of living, the area has fallen into disrepair and now rests in the hands of numerous gangs. The largest of these gangs is the Ardent Syndicate, believed to be run by the Nagel family – a family of Hour-using amphibians that are ultimately good beings but have the tendency to double-cross a gang or business here and there. If the Ardent Syndicate had control of the whole place, the authorities would be satisfied for now – but smaller gangs don’t appreciate being under the Syndicate’s heel.
Enforcement Agency: Pulsefire
Notes: Powers is the major center for medical research and one of the few regions whose operations were largely unaffected until the barrier completely sealed. Even then, this area holds one of the two scavenged power plants that supplies any sort of bulk electricity, so the citizens are less worried about power usage than most areas. Due to the importance of this power plant to the area’s operations, it is guarded around the clock by an enclave of Hour-using “shadow warriors” rumored to be the best of the best at stealth and disguise.
The Unclaimed Regions
Notes: Unclaimed in this case refers strictly to the fact that these particular areas have not become any sort of major district. There are a LOT of smaller homesteads in the unclaimed regions, but also a lot of bandit strongholds and the occasional research tent. Dirt roads crisscross a lot of the unclaimed territory, but not much goes through here due to the bandits.