"Brick City, eh? Can't be worse than what's out there..."
"You'd be surprised..."
-Two wasteland wanderers
Located just west of New York City, on Newark Bay, Newark was a commercial hub and one of the most populated municipalities in the entire United States. A target of the Chinese during the Great War, the city now lies in ruin. Known as Brick City to the men and women who eke out meager livings there, fragile alliances between the different factions are all that stand between some semblance of peace and outright chaos.
Newark, New Jersey was the state’s largest city during Pre-War times, with roughly 300,000 permanent residents. The city was founded during America’s colonial era by puritans from Connecticut who left their colony because of political and religious differences with leaders there. The name “Newark” was shortened from “New ark”, reflecting religious nature of the settlement.
During the 19th century, the city saw tremendous population growth as it become more and more industrialized. Newark became one of the country’s primary producers of leather and iron, and because of those industries, shipping began flourishing as well. Towards the end of the 1800s, the city became a hub of finance and retail sector jobs. Much of the city’s skyline was built to accommodate this burgeoning business. In the early 20th century, Newark Airport was built; it quickly became one of the country’s busiest airports.
Newark benefitted from the strong post-World War II economy. Factories churned out goods. Merchants came from wide and far to sell their wares. Strong insurance and pharmaceutical industries blossomed in the city.
The good times ended in 2077, when the bomb fell. The city was targeted because of the presence of Newark Airport, but the A.I. coordinating the hundreds of daily incoming and outgoing flights was able to divert the missles targeting the city and detonate the bombs in the air. Despite that, the city still suffered catastrophic damage. It was not completely leveled, but massive swaths of it was destroyed. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands more were injured because of thermal burns from the nuclear fires, the massive airburst from the explosions, and infrastructure failures that occurred as a result of both.
Shortly after the bombs hit, waves of survivors began fleeing the area. More often than not, violence erupted. As the effects of the radiation in the air, water, and land became apparent, people became more and more desperate. Food became scarcer and scarcer as the land rejected all attempts to grow food, as it was too poisoned. Water became scarcer and scarcer as more and more sources were discovered to be contaminated. Simply living became more and more difficult, as radiation poisoned the very air people needed to live. It soon became apparent that the area could not support human life, and those who continued to linger died- or lost their humanity. Chaos reigned.
Ironically, though the primary target, Newark Airport avoided most of the destruction that would ravage the city. The A.I. there once again took charge and organized salvaging parties to recover food, arms, armor, medical equipment, generators, purifiers, industrial equipment, and other highly valuable items. After taking in a small number of survivors, Newark Airport isolated itself from the rest of the city, with the A.I. all but hermetically sealing the terminal.
It was the rise of Basilica and the East Coast Catholic Church that prompted the area to recover. Tapping into the considerable Pre-War wealth of the church, Bishop Thomas McMillan was able to provide security and food to a small number of survivors that came to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart looking for refuge. Over the years, as more came, the bishop was able to solidify the safety and the security of the small enclave and transition it from survival mode to rebuilding mode. The surviving Catholic clergy made contact with a small community in the Ironbound neighborhood of ethnic Portugese that had managed to stay safe and protected in the years after the bombs fell, and because the Portugese survivors still clung to their faith, the two groups quickly formed alliances. The Portuguese survivors gave the Basilica explorers food, equipment, and relics from Catholic churches in the neighborhood, and the clergymen began administering services to them.
In 2102, the leader of the Portugese settlement, Miguel Oliviera was given a special title by Bishop Thomas McMillan, who was renamed Thomas I upon being elected Pope. He named him Fidei Defensor et Rex Fidelissimus Catholicissimus- “defender of the faith and most faithful Catholic King”- and declared Oliviera of ennobled blood. The Portuguese people of the area praised the move and accepted Miguel Oliviera as their formal leader. King Oliviera, in his first royal decree, declared the neighborhood a New Lisbon that would be a beacon in the darkness that would support Basilica in reestablishing and spreading Catholicism.
Because of the prosperity of the East Coast Catholic Church and New Lisbon, wastelanders began flocking to the area, settling down in what would become known as The L. Wastelanders began settling elsewhere, and across the region, other nations began springing up. In the late 2210s, Pope Thomas III began studying the layout of the Tri-State Area, and came to the conclusion that the Post-War world was becoming a busy place and that any number of groups of nations in the area could threaten the peace, security, or independence of Basilica or New Lisbon. He sent out emissaries to other groups in the ruins of Newark and in 2219 formed the Newark Covenant, an alliance between Basilica, New Lisbon, Terminal City, Junkport, and by proxy, The L. In 2235, the ghouls of Campus were allowed to join the compact, as objections by Basilica and New Lisbon were overridden by the power that they would be able to provide to the communities within the ruins of Newark. In 2283, a change in leadership occurred in the Pulaski Birdmen, and the raiders successfully petitioned to enter Eyrie into the pact.
Brick City has a strong, stable economy thanks to the various communities composing it having very different commercial and industrial strengths. Terminal City sells off excess technology. New Lisbon is known for exporting high quality weapons and bullets produced there. Junkport exports scrap and other raw materials. In addition to providing power to the rest of Brick City, Campus also provides power to other nearby communities. Product is always plentiful in the black markets of The L.
Geography has helped the economy of Brick City as well. The Passaic River flows into Newark Bay, which leads to New York Harbor via the Arthur Kill. This connection to the ruins of New York City gives Brick City access to the markets of communities growing in the ruins of New York. Caravan companies, such as Garden State Shipping and Water Taxi Transportation, have outposts in the city. Merchants going to and coming from the city operate in relative safety, especially since the Newark Pirate Association was defeated in 2259 and the Pulaski Birdmen changed their warlike ways in 2283.
Brick City uses caps as its primary source of currency, but New Lisbon mints a gold-based currency called escudos that are also accepted in most places.
Peace is maintained in Brick City thanks to the different alliance that the different settlements in its bounds have with each other. Known as the “Brick City Alliance”, the alliance maintains that all signatories to the agreement have the right to exist, and that ideological differences between different settlements does not justify conflict between them. Each settlement has the right to protect their own territory however they see fit, and so long as they do not interfere in the affairs of other settlements, each settlement has the right to patrol unclaimed swaths of the city, in the spirit of mutual protection and safety. Economies vary from settlement to settlement, but no one settlement has the right to interfere or restrict the economy of another settlement. Any grievances that one settlement has with another is to be settled between those settlements, taking care to have as little an impact on non-involved settlements as possible.
When the bombs fell, Newark was roughly 26 square miles. The altitude of the city ranged from sea level in the eastern side of the city, to roughly 230 feet above sea level in the western side of the city, essentially making the city a large basin sloping towards the Passaic River.
City planners divided the city into five wards, each containing neighborhoods ranging from dense urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. The most affluent neighborhoods were located on the western side of the city, while the densest, most urban areas were located in the south and southwest, and middle-class residential suburbs and industrial areas to the north.
A theocratic enclave based around the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Seat of the East Coast Catholic Church and home to its leader, Pope Angelo II.
A bug-infested area on the bend of the Passaic River, encompassing most of the city's Pre-War business district.
A small ghoul community in the ruins of Seton Hall University, in possession of a functioning nuclear reactor.
A small community located on a one-thousand-foot steel truss bridge, 135 feet above the ground. Home of the Pulaski Birdmen.
A highly irradiated region thanks to a permanent radstorm, giving the area a permanent green hue. Home to a handful of ghouls, and many dangers.
A small community based in the ruins of Port Newark, a large Pre-War shipping facility.
A close-knit, walled kingdom composed primarily of the Portugese community of Newark.
A lawless region, shaped more or less like an L, hence its name. Brick City's most populated area, home to all kinds of scum and villainy.
A technologically advanced settlement in the ruins of the former Newark Airport.
Pope Angelo II
The second individual to bear the name Angelo, Pope Angelo II is the current head of the East Coast Catholic Church and the soverign of Basilica. Reigning since 2281, the pope has continued the work of his predecessor, Pope David, and has dedicated his reign to strengthening the influence that the East Coast Catholic Church has on the region. Among his initiatives have been to champion allowing The Eyrie into the Brick City alliance, as a means to expose them to the religion, and sending more representatives to the Federal Republic of Libeteria, to minimize the influence the St. Monica branch Catholics have there.
Once a street urchin making havoc in the streets of The L, Avery Banks is now one of the deadliest gangsters operating in the city. As a teen, he was plucked off of the streets and given employment with Garden State Shipping, but the change of setting did nothing to change the person he had become. Rather than stay away from crime, Banks grew more sophisticated, stealing and embezzling from the trading company and its customers. Banks eventually left Garden State Shipping and settled back in The L, where he founded a small gang. Over the years, the size of his criminal operation grew, and Banks is now one of the premier crime bosses in the area.
A mild-mannered paperboy by day, Michael Benoit is the leader of The Protectors, a superhero group dedicated to bringing peace and justice to Brick City. Benoit was inspired by tales of The Silver Shroud coming to life in the Commonwealth in 2287, and decided that he, too, could become a hero. After realizing that fighting by himself was very much an uphill battle, he put out a call for like-minded residents of the city to don masks and alter-egos and help him stomp out crime.
Sketchy Dan is one of many delinquents living in The L. Dan considers himself a lady's man, but women consider him repulsive. He is more of a nuisance than an actual criminal, as his daily activities generally include trying to charm local prostitutes and call girls and trying to hustle the many transients passing through. He usually doesn’t have much luck with the former, but has a little more luck with the latter, which is where he makes the caps he lives off.
Originally a slave in The Pitt, Teddy Lemons was freed when the Brotherhood of Steel ravaged the city in 2255. In the ensuing chaos, the young child escaped the city and was raised by a Mr. Gutsy unit that was wandering the nearby wasteland. Over the next decade or so, Lemons was “raised” by the Mr. Gutsy that saved him from a horrific fate. The robot was eventually destroyed, forcing the young man to reintegrate into society. He eventually joined Garden State Shipping as a caravan guard, and in 2287, joined Mike Benoit and the Protectors as a superhero.
Born in Diamond City, Albert Honeywell was a member of Diamond City security until an unfortunate incident similar to the "Broken Mask" incident, when he killed a resident he was convinced was a synth, but was actually not. He was put on trial and banished from the city. He joined the Gunners, and over the years, began working his way up their ranks, eventually being promoted to commander. After being betrayed by his subordinates, Honeywell left the group and began selling his services as a mercenary. He was eventually hired by Jack Spencer, who in addition to paying him for his services, upgraded and customized the power armor that he utilized. The two left the Commonwealth and made their way to Brick City, joining the Protectors in 2287.
Arthur O'Hare was born in The Bronx, the son of the leader of the White Rabbits, a National Pleasure League remnant group. When he was a young teen, he ran away from the abusive environment, eventually starting a new life in the Federal Republic of Libeteria. Given that making and producing chems was all he knew, he eventually got in trouble in Libeteria and was imprisoned. He was released ten years later, settling in Brick City and setting up a shop in The L called O’Hare’s Apothecary, where he manufactured homemade stimpaks and fixer. While his life was safer, it was also less exciting; when Michael Benoit put out a call for The Protectors, he joined.
Born in the Commonwealth, Jack Spencer was eventually recruited into the Railroad thanks to his ability with machines and programming. Spencer worked with the group for roughly five years, working to reprogram synths and give them new lives. In 2286, his identity was inadvertantly exposed, putting him and the rest of the Railroad in danger. Buying the services of a mercenary to act as his bodyguard, Spencer fled the Commonwealth, eventually making his way south, to Brick City. Along the way, he helped create a battle suit for his bodyguard, Albert Honeywell, and hacked into an eyebot that he now uses as a companion. In 2287, he joined the Protectors as Jury-Rig.
Dr. Bernard Warren is a ghoul that operates a small clinic in The L. Born in Queens, New York before the war, Warren was a surgeon at Metropolitan Hospital in midtown. He was leaving work that fateful day when the bombs fell, and entombed in the ruins of the hospital, turning him into a ghoul. After living in the sewer and subway tunnels under the city for decades, he eventually traveled under the Hudson River into New Jersey, where he settled in Campus. After rebuilding his life there, he opened up a clinic in The L. After years of getting fed up constantly treating injuries sustained from small-time crime, Dr. Warren decided to become proactive, joining Mike Benoit's Protectors.
The will to survive creates an uneasy peace in Brick City. The religious zealots of Basilica and New Lisbon do not accept the ghousl of Campus, and see them as sinful abominations. The proud people of New Lisbon do not appreciate the people of Terminal City, seeing them as elitist snobs. The people of Terminal City do not hold any outsiders in high regard, considering them closer to savage barbarians than civilized people. The people of Junkport still do not trust the Pulaski Birdmen of the Eyrie, not fully believing that they have turned over a new leaf and reformed their ways. All know that they need each other to resist the expanding presence of the Federal Republic of Libeteria to the east, and other threats, and so each group within the Newark Covenant puts aside their differences for mutual protection.