|Population:||before Revolutionary War est. 250 |
(50 Slavers) after Revolutionary War 95
(95 Freed Slaves)
|Notable Individuals:||Constantine Tombs|
|Factions:||Detroit Slavers, Army of Revolution|
|Notable events:||The Fight against Slavery, Revolutionary War|
|Current status:||Under new leadership|
Cole Ayo was once a slaver fortress in the ruins of Detroit, controlled by Constantine Tombs, son of slaver warlord Cyrus Tombs. Now, it is under the leadership of the slaves who once languished there.
Before the Great War, the skyscraper that would go on to become known as Cole Ayo was the headquarters of some unknown business in Detroit. Whatever the business was that went on in the building, it was booming in the years leading up the the bombs finally dropping.
October 23, 2077 came with a bang. The bombs created the Detroit Wasteland, and the skyscraper that would become Cole Ayo was abandoned for more than a century. The only occupants of building at that time were the occasional squatter and a scattering of feral ghouls, some wandering the lower levels and some trapped in the upper levels.
The skyscraper gained some prominence in 2182 when a super mutant named Leif, an early deserter from the Master’s Army out west, took up residence there and claimed it as his own. The super mutant’s appearance attracted attention from many nearby people who had never seen such a creature before. Wanting some peace and quiet, Leif used the feral ghouls inside the building to drive off trespassers. A sign was later hung on the front entrance of the skyscraper declaring it to be ‘Cole Ayo’, something that made sense in the super mutant’s addled mind but no one else’s. Nevertheless, the name caught on and soon enough, everyone was calling the skyscraper Cole Ayo.
Some enterprising raiders decided it might be a good idea to take Cole Ayo as their own in 2204. The resulting battle ended first in Leif’s death at the hands of the raiders and then the raiders’ deaths at the hands of the remaining feral ghouls. After that, Cole Ayo became abandoned once again though the new name stuck.
Life finally returned to Cole Ayo half a century later in 2253, even if it would be a rather unpleasant kind. In the spring of 2253, a teenaged Constantine Tombs led a small band of slavers into the Detroit Wasteland with the blessing of his father Cyrus Tombs. The band of slavers, mostly inexperienced, stumbled their way through the ruins of Detroit. That was until the slavers picked up a local scavver guide and learned of Cole Ayo. Upon hearing about the place, Constantine endeavored to take the skyscraper and make into his own personal fortress to even rival his father’s setup back at The Horseshoe. The slavers arrived at Cole Ayo soon after and found its lower levels infested with feral ghouls. Undeterred, Constantine led his slavers in exterminating all the feral ghouls they could find in Cole Ayo and cleaning up the place.
It took about a month or so before the lower levels of Cole Ayo were fit for human habitation. The slavers cleared out the big lobby for slave pens and lived themselves in the levels slightly above. Before anyone could get too comfortable, Constantine Tombs reminded everyone what their purpose was for being there and told the slavers to prepare to move out. Throughout the May of 2253, Constantine and his slavers, soon to be known as the Detroit Slavers, devastated numerous scavenger communities in Downtown Detroit and took more than a hundred slaves in a very short time. With a satisfactory number of slaves for the moment, the slavers withdrew back to Cole Ayo and began their slaving business in earnest. This mostly involved putting enslaved scavengers to work and selling sex slaves to raider gangs, small stuff at first.
As the years went on, the Detroit Slavers continued slaving on a low but steady scale. In that time, Constantine Tombs tried to expand his influence in Detroit through allying with raider gangs but was rebuffed for the most part. Even raiders did not want to be associated with him. Also, Constantine soon began to seen organized opposition to him in the form of towns such Motor Town who had lost residents to his predations. The Detroit Slavers easily fended off the militias who opposed them in early skirmishes going from 2267 to 2275. Business went on as usual in Cole Ayo, and the Detroit Slavers even made another big slaving raid in 2272, comparable to the one in 2253. However, it was becoming increasingly clear by then that the slavers’ time in the sun was finally drawing to a close.
A slaver spy ring in Motor Town was broken up in 2276, weakening the Detroit Slavers quite significantly. Constantine Tombs firmly reassured his men that everything was still fine and tried to carry on without his prior intelligence on Motor Town. That proved disastrous in later years. Clashes between Motor Town and the slavers of Cole Ayo escalated. Raiders even harassed slavers in the field. In 2279, the Detroit Slavers made their biggest sale ever to an anonymous buyer from ‘out of town’. This was celebrated in Cole Ayo in an almost festive manner, by the slavers at least. The following year, Minx came to Cole Ayo and asked Constantine Tombs if she could set up a business in the lobby of the skyscraper. After some haggling, Constantine and Minx came to agreement, and Café 13 was opened from the remains of a pre-War restaurant. Things were looking up for the Detroit Slavers.
There was some difficulty in 2282 when Cole Ayo was assaulted by a raider gang looking to make it their own. Led by the crazed madman Lincoln, the raider gang besieged Cole Ayo for ten days straight. The raiders were only pushed back by a charge led by Constantine Tombs himself. This charge climaxed in a battle where Constantine Tombs buried his combat knife into the raider warlord’s temple, and the raider gang scattered. The people of Cole Ayo then breathed easy knowing that although slavers were horrible, raiders were worse.
In 2283, the Detroit Slavers began hearing whispers of an emerging power in the north: the Army of Revolution. They had heard of the human supremacist group previously when they had clashed in Downtown Detroit with Black Skull Company in the 2260s. However, the Army fell under most people’s radar after they were forced out of Detroit proper and into Eastern Michigan. That was until word came in 2283 that the Army of Revolution was returning to the Detroit Wasteland with a vengeance. While places liked Motor Town feared the Army’s advance, the Detroit Slavers were confident they had what it took to weather the coming storm, even as scouts eyed their home hungrily.
That storm came crashing down of Cole Ayo in 2284 at the advent of the Revolutionary War. A unit of about twenty-five AoR soldiers, led by Lieutenant Melanie Cartwright, had been assigned by their superiors to seize Cole Ayo from its slaver occupants and occupy it themselves. This came easier said than done, but Lieutenant Cartwright had dealt with worse situations. She decided upon a nighttime assault, using the element of surprise and superior firepower to quickly blast through one of Cole Ayo’s guardhouses into the lobby. This led to a mass panic as hundreds of dazed slaves ran for their lives, caught between the crossfire of the slavers and the Revolutionaries. This played to the AoR’s soldiers advantage, and soon enough, most of the slavers had been pushed to one of the guardhouses, almost out of Cole Ayo. That was until several slavers, led by Constantine Tombs, suddenly appeared from the upper levels and laid into the Revolutionaries, even injuring Lieutenant Cartwright. The Revolutionaries nevertheless managed to persevere through sheer firepower and eventually managed to kill every single slaver left at the last guardhouse. Seeing this, Constantine Tombs and his remaining Detroit Slavers grabbed a handful of slaves and pushed their way out of Cole Ayo, escaping the Revolutionaries’ clutches.
Immediately following the battle, the surviving AoR soldiers fired off several rounds to celebrate their victory. They eventually stopped upon seeing the throngs of cowering slaves still in Cole Ayo. Taking charge, Lieutenant Cartwright quickly co-opted a abolitionist message and announced to the slaves that they were all free and were welcome to remain in Cole Ayo to live their lives. The slaves initially did not understand Cartwright’s words but soon it dawned on them. What followed was a cacophony of cheers for freedom. However, Cartwright’s announcement that all the mutants still present in the building should come forward sent a hush throughout Cole Ayo. Upon several ghoul slaves coming forward, Lieutenant Cartwright gave the command and had them executed without warning. At that, she attempted to continue by giving a speech about purity but was interrupted by a wave of enraged slaves surging towards her. The slaves viciously attacked the AoR soldiers with what weapons they had, killing those who did not flee. A great silence fell over Cole Ayo as the last of the soldiers fled.
The next day, life went on in Cole Ayo much the same as it had before. The scavengers went out to scavenge, Café 13 was still in operation, and the hunters went out to hunt rats and other small animals. The only difference is that they now did it of their own volition rather than have slavers make them do it. Since the Revolutionary War, the freed slaves of Cole Ayo have continued to live quietly while fighting off repeated attempts by slavers and raiders to take the skyscraper.
Cole Ayo is built around the lower levels of a decrepit skyscraper, located north of Detroit’s downtown district. The building has been mostly centered around scavenging since farming is an impossibility in the area. Immediately outside of Cole Ayo is cleared so as to make an attack on the settlement more difficult. The building is protected by four guard houses at each of the entrances for protection from outside predators. Inside the building's first floor is a wide open space, the lobby which serves as a marketplace where a wide variety of things can be sold. The upper floors of the skyscrapers are mostly residential quarters. The building's highest floors are cut off for all intents and purposes.
Prior to its liberation, Cole Ayo was notorious for being the headquarters of the Detroit Slavers, owning and selling large numbers of slaves. The slaves that were kept there were mostly used by the slavers to scavenge salvage, hunt for food, or act as sex slaves. The slaves sold were mostly to raider gangs, cannibals, and 'enterprising' individuals. Constantine Tombs was the the supreme authority over both slavers and slaves in Cole Ayo and anyone who got in his way was removed. Meanwhile, slavers were given free reign over the slaves in Cole Ayo.
The Army of Revolution came suddenly in 2284, and they forced the slavers out into the wastes. Coming as liberators, the Army of Revolution freed all the human slaves that remained in Cole Ayo while executing the mutants. This led to the slaves throwing the soldiers out in rage. Many freed slaves have lived in the building ever since the takeover, keeping their heads down while ignoring the political situation outside in the Detroit Wasteland. Scavengers are the backbone of Cole Ayo, as they have always been.
Overall, Cole Ayo has a rather small population, made even smaller in 2287 after the fall of the Detroit Slavers. The majority of the building’s population are currently ex-slaves who continue to live in the building as scavengers, hunters, and sometimes merchants.
Cole Ayo is effectively a direct democracy consisting of all the freed slaves left. All community decisions are decided by votes. Otherwise, the sheriff can make a decision regarding the law as he sees fit.
Security in Cole Ayo is handled completely its corrupt sheriff, Hog. Sheriff Hog is beholden to the people but mostly is around to make sure no one goes overboard in regards to breaking the law. He deserves the right to deputize people in Cole Ayo should the occasion arise that he needs backup.
Points of Interest
The Guard Houses
There are four individual guard houses at each of the entrances into Cole Ayo, but now they all stand empty. These guard houses were there when the Detroit Slavers occupied the building but have been abandoned since changing hands. The guard houses had sand bags and sheet metal to beef them up, serving the first line of defense against outside attack and as checkpoints for people coming in with peaceful intentions. Now, the freed slaves just see them as a nuisance to incoming travelers but have not found the time to remove them.
A large open area on the first floor of Cole Ayo, the Lobby was once utilized by the Detroit Slavers to keep most of their ‘goods’ in squalor and sell them to highest bidder. That led to the room being given a largely straw floor and cages hanging from the ceiling. Currently, the Lobby is used by the residents of Cole Ayo as a common room and a place to conduct business. The straw on the floor has been removed, but the cages still adorn the ceilings, now containing the skeletal remains of captured Detroit Slavers and mutants instead of disobedient slaves. Sheriff Hog has a small cushy one man outpost in the Lobby to keep an eye on business and enforce the law when needed. Many drifters and traders still sleep on the floor of the Lobby on occasion.
Café 13, under the management of the clever vixen Minx, is a restored pre-War restaurant in the Lobby of Cole Ayo. It has been in business since at least 2279 when it mostly just provided food and drinks to the Detroit Slavers. When Cole Ayo fell out of slaver hands, Café 13 managed to survive and stay in business under the same management. Food and drinks have continued to sold by Café 13 though the restaurant also acts as a front for the black market.
Various lower-level floors of Cole Ayo were office space before the Great War and while the Detroit Slavers were in power, they lived in office ‘suites’ where there was an overwhelming amount of space to play around in. After the slaves took over Cole Ayo, the office ‘suites’ were opened to both the freed slaves who still wanted to live in the building. The area is more crowded now, but it is certainly better than everyone having to sleep in the Lobby. The office ‘suites’ are mostly residential space but also serves as storage for scrap, food, and ammunition.
The Upper Levels
Quite a few of the upper levels of Cole Ayo are functionally unreachable. They have been abandoned since the Great War since the bombs (and time itself) did some good damage to the building. Nevertheless, some people in Cole Ayo occasionally make their ways to upper levels to salvage some remaining pre-War valuables. A couple of feral ghouls live in the upper floors cut off from the rest of Cole Ayo, providing some potential dangers to those who wandered there.
The executive office in Cole Ayo is on the tenth floor of the building, a pre-War symbol of significance. The office was adorned with dozens of nicknacks from the CEO of the pre-War company that owned the building, mostly on the CEO’s desk. It also contains a safe that contained a copy of Cat’s Paw, some rope, and a couple needles of Med-X. When the Detroit Slavers seized Cole Ayo as their own, their leader Constantine Tombs took the executive office as his personal space. Constantine kept the office mostly as it was before the Great War besides a single painting that he hung on the wall. Since the fall of the slavers, Sheriff Hog has taken Constantine’s old office as his own and has made no noticeable changes. This has worried many, but everyone has been to timid to voice their opinions to the sheriff.
- "It's hard life. You need be strong to survive out here."
- ―Van Paulson
Van Paulson, an honest small-time scavenger, is the informal leader of formerly enslaved populace of Cole Ayo. Born to scavengers in 2237, Van had a harsh childhood as most did in the Detroit Wasteland. He spent most of his childhood picking through the ruins of Downtown Detroit for junk and catching rats with other kids. His parents were unusually religious for scavengers and taught Van Paulson to read using the Bible. Van did not think about it much at the time, even when his mother was killed by cannibals in 2248. His family and other scavengers scurried under the feet of people like the Black Skull Company and the various raider gangs that dotted the ruins of Detroit, beneath their notice.
All that changed with the arrival of Constantine Tombs and his band of slavers in 2253. In a very short time, the slavers, soon to be called the Detroit Slavers, would capitalize on the element of surprise and capture a large number of wastelanders in a short time. Van Paulson, his father, and his siblings were among those captured when their scavver den was raided by Constantine Tombs himself. Constantine coldly dispatched father Paulson when he raised a hand against the slaver and was intrigued upon seeing his children’s reactions, including Van. Nonetheless, Constantine loaded up the captured scavvers into a caged brahmin wagon and took them back to his new ‘fortress’ at Cole Ayo, which would serve as Van Paulson’s prison for the next thirty years.
At the time of Van's capture, Constantine had just chosen Cole Ayo the headquarters for his slaver band, and it was more motley than in the years to follow. Upon his arrival in Cole Ayo, Van was separated from his siblings and quickly set to work scavenging in the ruins of Detroit under the watchful eyes of the Detroit Slavers. It was back-breaking work, and the only rest Van ever got was on the floor of Cole Ayo’s lobby. The slavers very nearly broke Van’s spirit. As the years wore on though, Van began to remember more and more of the Bible verses that his parents taught. That gave him some slim hope for the future, at least in the afterlife. Van spread this simple gospel of hope to other slaves and by 2260 had built up a small following. This also led him meeting his wife Milly.
Van Paulson was nearly killed by raiders and mutant animals on an almost weekly basis while scavenging, being only saved by his own good instincts. Van had particularly close scrape with death in 2263 when he was the only survivor of his scavenging team, slave or slaver, after they were attacked by a deathclaw. Constantine seriously considered executing Van to crush the slaves’ hopes but decided against it as Van had returned back to Cole Ayo by his own ‘free will’. Some time later, Jaime McDonally arrived in Cole Ayo, a Canadian ghoul with a collar around his neck. Jaime was Van’s polar opposite, a firebrand who constantly defied the slavers and urged his fellow slaves to revolt. This ran directly contrary to Van’s relatively more complacent teachings. The two men rarely ever met face to face but neither really liked the other, though this never bubbled into open hostility. Jaime’s repeated escaped attempts and punishments mostly just made Van pity the ghoul.
By 2275, Van Paulson was married with three children, all born into slavery but not taken from him. He was regarded as a leader by both the slaves and the slavers, with most of slavers giving him a degree of respect, even Constantine Tombs himself. That was until Sunshine came into the picture. A young cocky female slaver and ex-raider, Sunshine decides the best way to prove herself was by seducing and ‘taking’ the the top slave in Cole Ayo: Van Paulson. Unable to fight back, Van was humiliated by Sunshine and forced into sex with her on numerous occasions. It was enough avoiding death every other day, but now he had to worry about a slaver breathing down his back. This went on for three years until Sunshine grew tired of Van and moved on. The memories stayed with Van however.
The slavers’ war with Motor Town made things at Cole Ayo more tense, especially for the slaves. Van worried what might happen if Motor Town’s city militia tried to assault Cole Ayo and wondered what he would do. He did not know. Van Paulson’s oldest son was killed in 2280 by raiders while he was out scavenging, which saddened Van greatly. Nevertheless, he carried on teaching his gospel to the slaves and prayed for his son’s soul in the afterlife. Later in 2280 came the arrival of Minx in Cole Ayo. Van regarded Minx with disdain as soon as she arrived, but he did not completely avoid buying goods from Café 13.
The Army of Revolution's assault came almost without warning in 2284. The Detroit Slavers were swept out of Cole Ayo and retreated to their remaining smaller camp. Many slaves took the opportunity to escape the building that had served as their prison for so long. However, some had been there for so long that they that did not try to escape. Van Paulson was one of those people. He felt tied to Cole Ayo now. Luckily, the AoR soldiers were able to recognize the enslaved and declared them free men. This gave Van some faint hope as he and his family were finally free. He had not been free in a long time. That came before the execution of the mutants.
Now, Van Paulson lives in the office ‘suites’ in Cole Ayo. He still works as a scavenger and preaches his message of a hopeful afterlife to the formerly enslaved populace of Cole Ayo. Van represents the freed slave community similar to how he did when the slavers were in power when interacting with outsiders (this bugs Hog to no end). The humble scavenger basically advises Van works hard to avoid the remaining slavers and raiders. He comes home almost every day dirty and tired, but it is more fulfilling work now that he has the freedom to scavenge without the muzzle of a gun pointed at his head.
Van Paulson is more or less a passive family man, loving his family and community. Being very religious, Van deals with his past trauma and problems in his life by remembering the promise of a higher power. This has had mixed effects to say the least. Van may be passive, but he has persevered through very dark times, not accepting death as a possibility. The shadow of Constantine Tombs, the man who killed his father and enslaved his family, still looms large in Van’s mind. He has yet to reconcile his intense hatred for Constantine with his faith.
- "Cole Ayo's a much better place than when I left it, that's for sure."
Cornelius escaped Cole Ayo and slavery as a teenager only to return there now after years of wandering, hoping to settle down. He was born to enslaved parents in 2265 in Cole Ayo. Soon after Cornelius was born, his father was sold off to a caravan rumored to be composed of cannibals. Cornelius never saw his father. His mother Roberta meanwhile tried to raise Cornelius as best as she could. That led to him being protected from many of the vices of Cole Ayo's at Roberta's expense. Still, Cornelius was forced into work at a young age for the slavers, worked with scavengers in the ruins of Detroit by squeezing into tight spaces to reach valuable salvage. By the time he was sixteen, Cornelius was fed up with his life, both with the slavers for making it so hard and with his mother for being so complacent with it .. He listened to the words of the fiery ghoul Jaime McDonally with awe and hoped to one day escape slavery like McDonally wanted to. Ironically, it was Cornelius who escaped first. In 2281, he escaped while scavenging due the laziness of the slaver watching him and forged into the Detroit Wasteland on his own.
After escaping Cole Ayo, Cornelius made up his mind to get as far away from the slavers as possible and essentially became a drifter. Cornelius made his way east, gaining new knowledge, equipment, and scars all along the way. He had many adventures in those years. Things came to a screeching halt though in 2286 when Cornelius had a realization. Now among the ruins of New York City, Cornelius was confronted in the rain by a burly mafioso named Pugs who wanted caps borrowed for a failed venture into a food stand. Cornelius was back to being capless, a drifter. That was not good enough for Pugs, and he tried to beat Cornelius to death as punishment for being a bum. He nearly did, but Cornelius managed to get the upper hand on Pugs, stabbing him. Breathing and taking a seat by Pugs’s corpse, Cornelius thought about what he had just done and his unfulfilling life so far. That reminded him of a something his mother once said, he could not quite remember it. That got him thinking of his mother for the first time in a while. She was presumably still enslaved back in Cole Ayo. Cornelius had left her behind with not even a goodbye. This guilt had been lurking in Cornelius’s mind for a while but only really came to the surface after the incident at Battery Park. After some beer, Cornelius determined that he had to go back to Cole Ayo to save his mother from the slavers. He blamed his dogged failure so in his travels on his guilt and hoped that some closure with his mother might improve things.
Having a definite destination made the trip back to Cole Ayo much easier than the journey from for Cornelius. He learned that the slavers had been forced out of the building upon entering the Detroit Wasteland and was overjoyed by the news, hoping that Constantine Tombs was finally six feet under. Making his way to Cole Ayo, Cornelius has been recently let in as many drifters have before and is looking for his mother. Several ex-slaves have already recognized him and greeted him with enthusiasm, but Cornelius is just focused on looking for his mother.
A restless soul, Cornelius is wanderer at heart. Characterized often as a fox (and nicknamed ‘the Black Fox’ in New York City), Cornelius moves from place to place, using his charm and guile to survive as best he can. A vague sense of morality instilled by his mother has stopped Cornelius from falling into complete con artistry, and he is a good guy at heart.
- "I can get you X-Cell, for the right price of course. Just keep your voice down."
One of the few holdovers from the old order of Cole Ayo, Minx owned and operated Café 13 for years before the slavers fell. Now, she still does but also happens to trade in more than food and drinks. Minx's past before coming to Cole Ayo is unknown, and she keeps her history purposely vague. Some theories about Minx’s history includes her being an ambitious vault dweller, a raider who wanted out of ‘the business’, and an agent of an unknown group from outside the Detroit Wasteland. Whatever Minx's origins are, she has kept them a mystery so far and has only really ever opened up at all to two groups of people: some of her employees and the women she takes into her bed.
Minx first arrived at Cole Ayo in 2280 at the head of a small caravan. After her arrival, Minx quickly met with Constantine Tombs and asked if she could set up shop in Cole Ayo. The two came to an agreement after some haggling was done over Constantine's cut, and Café 13 was created soon afterwards. Minx served much of the Detroit Slavers from her restaurant food, beverages, and chems. Officially, Minx was not supposed to serve the slaves, but she got around that by selling them goods 'under the table'. Café 13 was Minx's home for next couple years, and she personalized it, adding her own elegant flair to it. The fall of the slavers had less effect on Minx than most other people in Cole Ayo since was both a free woman and neither a slave nor a slaver. Minx was able to survive the regime change due her rather loose connections to the slavers and her vital role in the community. So, Minx continued to operate Café 13 even after the slaves took over. She remains the person you want to go to in Cole Ayo if you want something, with her past contacts and some myserious new benefactors helping her get whatever she needs.
- "Fuck yeah! Freedom tastes great!"
The sheriff of Cole Ayo, Hog bears his job as a badge of honor rather than qn obligation. Born in 2262, Hog was the product of a pairing between the slaver Ward Law and the slave Gloom. The boy was named Hog because his father thought he looked like “an ugly piglet” when he was born. Hog was raised by his mother Gloom while his slaver father occasionally dropped in for beatings or presents, alternating between the two. As a child, Hog worked was a hunter-gatherer for the slavers, catching things such as rats and radroaches to feed fellow slaves. One of Hog's friends at this time was a young scavenger closer to his age, Dawn Moore, who he talked to many a dark night. When puberty kicked in, Hog gained a great deal of muscle mass and height. He also began to take on larger prey, once managing to bring down a deathclaw (though it was actually by pure luck that Hog even survived). That led to some of the slavers deciding to make Hog their entertainment, making him fight various animals and people for sport. He was forced to kill many other slaves, usually with tears in his eyes. Hog built up a fiery hate within him against the slavers as a result of this, including Constantine Tombs and his own father Ward Law. On several occasions, Hog considered violently murdering his masters but decided that it would not be worth it. His time would come though.
Hog finally got his opportunity in 2284 but failed to kill Constantine Tombs or his father. After the Army of Revolution was dealt with, the slaves of Cole Ayo decided to make Hog their sheriff Since he was the most capable fighter among them. Since then, Hog’s ego has gone into the stratosphere. He sees himself as the ‘real leader’ of the settlement and despises Van Paulson’s leadership. Nonetheless, Sheriff Hog has proved himself to be an able defender of the freed slaves and has kept Cole Ayo safe for the last couple of years.
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