- "Used to be a good place for music and gambling. Two hundred years later it's a good place for music and gambling. Sometimes I think the world wasn't destroyed by men as much as trashed like the hotel room of a petulant God."
- ―The Eldest
|Population:||1,750 (90% Human, 9% Ghoul, 1% Other Mutations)|
|Factions:||Swampers, Emelkayan Order|
|Notable events:||Historical events|
In better days Shreveport and Bossier City were the heart of Arklatex, places of culture high and low on either side of the Red River. Now it's a hard town run by harder men, caught between the tendrils of Four Seasons and the grasping claw of the Royaume.
Shreveport was the seat of Caddo Parish and was named for steamboat builder and captain Henry Miller Shreve. Captain Shreve opened up the Red River to shipping by clearing an enormous logjam known as the Great Raft. The early city was a center for steamboat commerce with cotton as the primary product being moved; though a small slave trade also existed. The city served as the state capital under the Confederacy after Baton Rouge and Opelousas fell to the Union; serving as the headquarters for the Trans-Mississippi Command, the last Confederate command to surrender. Confederate President Jefferson Davis attempted to flee to Shreveport when Richmond was deemed to be no longer safe, but was captured. During the early 20th century Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter got his start as a blues musician in Shreveport's red light district before becoming an international sensation, a number of other jazz and ragtime performers also got their start in the city. A radio program called Louisiana Hayride launched the careers of many other great musicians, sealing Shreveport's reputation as a bastion for the performing arts (primarily Afro-American music).
Bossier City was the largest city (but not the seat of) Bossier Parish. The city was originally known as Bennett's Bluff after a local businessman; was renamed in honor of Pierre Bossier, the Creole General for whom the parish was also named. The town was fortified with cannon batteries during the Civil War to protect neighboring Shreveport. A fire in the early 20th century consumed much of the town, leading to an effort to modernize and update the city when it was rebuilt.
In the 21st century, the rising cost of fuel and the breakdowns in international relations greatly diminished the traffic through the cities. Ecological damage was also eroding the Louisiana coastline and bringing terrible storms to the area which greatly impacted The Big Easy, further affecting the cities which had benefited from tourists going to and from the Big Easy that passed through and used the various facilities (hotels, service stations, etc.). In order to draw in outside dollars once again the cities unofficially decriminalized various "soft crimes", such as narcotics possession and prostitution, and officially lifted the "dry laws', that prohibited the sale of alcohol after certain hours. The police were also told to treat "civil", drunks and those under the influence with kid gloves. These measures led to the cities, gaining a certain reputation as a party town, which drew back tourists. Right up until the end, the two cities remained a seedy tourist attraction.
As a major corridor for transportation as well as a high population center, Shreveport and Bossier City were subjected to a thorough bombing. Through dumb luck, the section of Bossier City along I-20 on the banks of the Red River came through the ordeal surprisingly intact. There were few survivors in the area relative to other, similarly sized cities as the terrain was not terribly conducive to the construction of large underground shelters and the sewers flooded during the attack.
The ruins of the sister cities lay quiet and moldering for years, sifted through by scavs who frequently were pulled into the dark places and torn to shreds by feral ghouls. When the Royaume formed in a series of bloody battles in southern Louisiana in the 22nd century, their surviving rivals were displaced; a group of them banded together for survival and cleared out the ruins of Bossier City in the hopes of establishing a new power base to fight the Royaume.
Their ambitions dissolved as the Royaume consolidated and they were unable to settle issues of leadership and spoils, so they simply set about making the ruins a place where people could live. Though no longer acting against the Royaume, they were happy to accommodate raiders who harassed them and their fledgling town garnered a permissive reputation that attracted outcasts and the dregs from around the region.
Boss Town is a place of cheap thrills and cheaper lust, a low-rent microcosm of New Orleans that's decidedly more open to raiders and mutants. Street fighters and buskers are common, seeking to attract the attention of a potential patron to get lucrative, regular work in one of the many bars. The population is highly transient and several languages are spoken here besides English, including Cajun French, Choctaw, Louisiana Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Outside the area inhabited by the sane ghouls, the Shreveport ruins are quite dangerous, this has done little to stem the tide of pilgrims seeking out the King's Shrine: a damaged statue of a man with a guitar surrounded by gifts of plastic flowers and fuzzy paintings, located outside a ruined auditorium. There are a number of legends regarding the figure portrayed in the statue and people pray to him for different reasons.
Boss Town has been described as a long street of whore houses, honky-tonks, and dive bars serving the crazies, merchants, raiders, scavengers, trappers who trek the Long 20 between Texas and the East. For those in groups or with good self-control and a healthy amount of paranoia, it's a relatively safe place to have a fun, rowdy time. To the careless and overly trusting, it's a good place to be press-ganged into a mercenary or raider band. Boss Town accepts the Royaume's currency but otherwise operates on barter. An alternate to traditional barter and money is the formal process of exchanging favors or promises, this is only done between locals and is done before the Promise-Keepers. If a party reneges on a favor, the Promise-Keepers track down the offending party and demand they fulfill their obligation. If the guilty party cannot or will not keep their oath, the Promise-Keepers beat them to death and claim their property as spoils. The threat of this treatment keeps the system working.
The Texas Street Bridge is the only surviving Pre-War bridge along this stretch of the Red River and both the ghouls and the Bosses maintain tolls on their respective ends.
Boss Town is run by a series of strongmen and loan sharks who strive to maintain their independence in the face of the Royaume mostly out of obstinateness. They tend to rule with a light touch unless they feel disrespected or as if their interests are threatened in which case they demonstrate great brutality. They typically leave matters of justice to the people unless they have a personal stake in the matter, the people are in turn happy to resort to mob justice and lynching. The Promise-Keepers are a high profile, semi-permanent mob in that regard.
The Bosses have less pull on the west side which is where most of the ghouls live. The ghouls keep their own counsel and meet to sort out their grievances at the Emelkay Shrine, a large tent set over a corroded statue of an Old World hero set among the blasted foundations of a former university.
Most of the inhabitants of Boss Town live east of the Red River in old Bossier City which fared better than Shreveport on the west bank. The ruins are bound by I-220 to the north, and highway 3132 to the south. I-20 runs east-west through the north-central part of the ruins and I-49 terminates (or begins) in the middle of the Shreveport ruins and runs south, bisecting a portion of the ruins.
The ghouls mostly live west of the river in old Shreveport, mostly near the Shreveport side of the Texas Street Bridge but they have a presence further into the interior of the city, by the Emelkay Shrine.
- The Bolt Hole: The Vaughton Gang occasionally descends into Boss Town for a few nights of drunken misbehavior and debauchery after a particularly successful (plenty of dead targets) or high-yielding (plenty of loot) raid. Being the nearest trading post the Bolt Hole, the Vaughton Gang also trades any loot they don't keep for themselves away for food, seeds or whatever medical supplies Boss Town has to offer. In exchange for not being barred from the town as rowdy outlaws, the Vaughton Gang offers their scouting abilities to Boss Town and scavenge for equipment at the request of the strongmen and loan sharks that govern the settlement. Boss Town is also usually the drop-off point for any yeomen who wish to leave the Bolt Hole and the most common pick-up point for wastelanders who want to turn a hand to working and living in the Bolt Hole.
- The Big Easy: Travelers come from the direction of New Orleans stop at Boss Town frequently; either to live or on their way to Tennessee, Texas, or other points further north or west. Boss Town inhabitants sometimes have cause to trek all the way to New Orleans for supplies that are hard to come by in the swamps of Louisiana. Notably, a few inhabitants of the Big Easy have any reason to come to Boss Town: their own, larger city has everything Boss Town could hope to offer and more. Furthermore, it either has greater law and order (within the Royaume controlled districts and Jacksonia) or greater freedom (in Vieux Carré).
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|