Geography and Settlements
The new face of the Lonestar…
Bravado | Our Settlement
The south is burning. The oil fields are vacant. The town that was called Bravo has been reduced to black ash, a caldera of mud and radiation slowly filling with toxic sludge and runoff from the surrounding desolation. An exodus followed, the first year was the hardest. Thousands burned, suffocated, grew ill and desperate and - finally, resignedly, began to trudge northwards. The Oil Barons have been uninstalled from their seat of penultimate power, the Hiway and its Robbers are a memory wreathed in blood and flame and sorrow. The Caverns, once a source of trade and trouble, were set alight and even now, glow hot, bright and eternal; baking the earth to carbon. The lands to the south of Bravado are unlivable, the fires migrate southwards still.
It has been three years since the Burn. Three years since the clouds over Bravo evaporated and the smell of ozone became as commonplace as sand and stone. Three years since the Solestros peoples were freed from servitude, and three years since the Iron Slaves threw off the last of their shackles and rose up against their oppressors. But civility fails, times moves onward, and simple human wickedness is cyclic and unending.
In the years following the Burn, the servitors of the Barons banded together. The Railroad Commission, a force of freed accountants, ledgermen and heavyweights, were the first to return and reclaim the broken and blasted scrap of land that had once been called Bravo. They laid down the bones of what would become the Lonestar’s first railroad.
The township itself is hardly more than a few buildings, a Post Office, workhouses, some permanent tent installations, hastily built and poorly maintained. A General Store - owned and maintained by the Railroad Commission - sits ramshackle at its center. There are few resources and fewer skilled laborers to capitalize on them. People come seeking refuge, are brought in with promises of food and bed, and made to kill themselves in the ruins to earn them. Here the tarnished and venerated past mingles with a bright and terrifying future.
'Bravo was not property lines drawn on the land. Bravo was the stories we told. Bravo was the people we saved.
Bravado is the world we build up from bones. Bravado is freedom to tell a new story, or continue a great one. Bravado is what shines in the eyes of every Brave.
Stay Brave, Survivor.
Other Locations of Interest
An undercity of Kings and Queens, of light and sound and rare beauty - built on blood and strife. Essex is the next stop up the line in the direction of civilization proper. Led by Marline Amberglass, Dusklady and Mirthmaker, Essex is where most inhabitants of Bravado hope to go when they ‘strike it rich’. More importantly, it is the base of the Railroad Commission and its primary investors.
To the north lies Waking, intellectual birthplace for an old collection of ancient Digitarian dynasties, emerging from their technocratic bastions while the military powers that once did battle across these windswept plains subsides. With them they bring incredible inventions of steam, steel, and sweat. They seek the secrets that lie beneath the scorched earth.
Forever burned, ever burning. The Blastlands rim the boundaries of Bravado in fire and ash. Here, the great reservoirs of fuel that once made this town a beacon on a hill now flash incendiary warnings to all travelers who approach. Beware. Travel is difficult, cartography more so, as the fires creep ever southward. The ground is hot to the touch, and the few areas that are not openly smoldering are prone to unpredictable fissures and upheavals.
The Dead Marches
A small safe haven - The Dead Marches, shielded by blasted land and old fire, plays host to The Grave Council, a small nation of Unborn, Full Dead, Retrograde and Remnants, who are quickly running out of room.
The most populous port in the Lonestar. Largely inhabited by Baywalker clans and offshore Junkerpunk Saltwise this waterlogged settlement escaped the worst of the burn - or rather its citizenry is so used to fires breaking out atop its spoiled waters that they quickly adjusted, and trade resumed with the Clutch as the only functioning tradeport for thousands of miles. Three years is a long time in the language of brass and what was once a struggling outpost that trucked largely in old ship tech and waster eels is now a bastion of trade - and host to a half dozen pirate clans that raid both sea and portwards.
Once known as Temple Station, “Prudence Penitentiary”, or as it’s better known, “Killhouse Prison” lies a few miles outside of Bravado. The thick walls of the town erected during a civil war between psions and the Fallow Hopes provided support for new buildings and cell blocks, while limiting the access to the prisoners inside. It is rumored they have their own morgue housed at the center of this meandering stone complex.