- "These ruins look post-War. Weird."
- ―A young Cascadian scavenger picking through the ruins of Fort Eugene
Fort Eugene was an NCR trading post built in the ruins of Eugene, Oregon to exploit trade routes going along the remains of I-5. Far away from NCR borders, Fort Eugene was beset by enemies from all sides, but the town held out for twenty years. However, Fort Eugene was sacked and razed after a long siege in 2268. The town now stands in ruins alongside the pre-War ruins of Eugene, desolate and barren.
The story of Fort Eugene's founding originated in the 2240s, a more unstable time in both New California and Cascadia. Trading routes between the two regions were just beginning to emerge along with large organized groups such as the New California Republic, the Slaver's Guild, and various Oregon tribal confederations. Many in NCR saw a lucrative opportunity in securing these valuable trade routes.
Wanting to benefit from these trade routes through Cascadia, several NCR residents in Shady Sands met together with merchants and other associated parties to draw up a plan. It took several weeks of planning before a location for the potential settlement was found: the pre-War ruins of Eugene. The contingent also worked out a dubiously legal agreement with the NCR government that would give the settlement the protection of a small NCR garrison if it was successful. This was done under the nose of the ailing President Tandi, who would having never allowed such an agreement even a year before.
It was settled. They were going to Eugene. The NCR settlers continued with their plan by contacting caravaners native to Cascadia and trying to convince them to back the settler's efforts. The caravaners decided to back the settler's efforts but made it clear that Eugene was currently occupied by the Snow Runners, a hostile nomadic tribe of Oregon tribals. This briefly made the settler's reconsider their actions but they quickly put aside their concerns to just get the job done.
In 2248, the contingent of NCR settlers and Cascadian caravaners made their way through the wilds of northern California towards Oregon. Making it to Oregon, the contingent was constantly set upon by cannibalistic tribals and brutal slavers. They were already rather battered when they arrived at Eugene and were ready to settle down by then. The NCR settlers at first wanted to just avoid the nearby Snow Runners without resorting to violence while the Cascadian caravaners urged swift action to prevent further bloodshed. They were soon proved correct when a Snow Runners warband attacked the contingent's camp.
The alliance of NCR settlers and Cascadian caravaners soon set about clearing the area of the Snow Runners tribe, with the caravaners showing significantly more gusto. The Snow Runners were brutal and had the numbers, but the contingent had vastly superior weapons which took their toll on the tribals. Before the end of 2248, the Snow Runners had decided to return to their nomadic roots and abandon the ruins of Eugene to the contingent.
After their victory over the tribals, the contingent next created their settlement to exploit new caravan routes. This settlement would be quickly built and would be named Fort Eugene after the pre-War city. The inhabitants first focused on defense, fearful of returning tribals, horrific mutants, or desperate scavengers. Luckily, only one of these threats materialized in the first few years.
As a result, Fort Eugene thrived as traders and caravaners were relieved to find a safe stop on I-5 between New California and Cascadia. The only other large stop on the trade route, Grant's Pass, was ruled by slavers and had its own set of problems. Fort Eugene was soon protected by a dedicated garrison of NCR troopers sent from the south who also reassured those entered, seeing a safe environment for trade. The town flourished, and some residents became very wealthy. However, Fort Eugene was still not self-sufficient and had to import all of its food.
That problem was solved when sharecroppers from NCR arrived in 2251 though their arrival coincided with an renewed attacked by the Snow Runners tribe, now with help from other like-minded tribals. With the help of its garrison and the new sharecroppers, Fort Eugene fought off the Snow Runners for a second time and sent them running back north into the wilderness of Oregon.
After that victory, the sharecroppers settled down near Fort Eugene and built their own settlement, Frankville, which also fell under NCR protection while providing Fort Eugene with food. This arrangement benefited both settlements and so they prospered.
The 2250s were a very prosperous time for Fort Eugene, with NCR money pouring north and trade money from the caravan houses in the north pouring south, mostly from Seattle. This trade, mostly lumber and water, went through Fort Eugene and allowed the town to become even richer. Fort Eugene became something of a boom town, experiencing rapid growth. The town earned a reputation for good lodging and high prices. Fort Eugene's enemies learned the mettle of the town's garrison and even the fearsome tribals of the Oregon brush learned not to mess with the Bear. At the same time, corruption and crime began to set down roots.
There was a bit of a controversy in Fort Eugene in 2254 when a vault dweller, contracted by the town's crime boss Ute, killed several prominent members of the town government in broad daylight before disappearing. This was not what Ute had intended, and he and his cronies were thrown out of Fort Eugene soon enough. The sheriff at that point decided to declare war on all organized crime with the help of the NCR garrison.
This effort to exterminate crime was ultimately unsuccessful but luckily did not dissuade caravaners from coming to Fort Eugene, and the town continued to grow and prosper. The charismatic Kenneth Falcone, originally a trader from Seattle, was elected mayor in 2259, the first town official elected without NCR citizenship. He promised to strengthen ties with the various other communities and make Fort Eugene more self-sufficient. These promises made many residents apprehensive but hopeful as well, hoping for better future.
This hope was shattered by the onset of the Oregon Brushfire Wars. Cascadia was inflamed with by anti-NCR sentiments and Fort Eugene, a settlement with significant ties to the Republic, suffered as a result. The town's population started to slowly decline as many residents, beginning to feel the increased hostility of others in Oregon, began to head back to New California and safety.
Fort Eugene served as the center of NCR operations in the north during the Brushfire War and the War of the Northwestern Alliance, making it a prime target for anti-NCR factions in the region. The increased presence of the NCR military also made caravaners avoid Fort Eugene, making the situation worse. At first, the attacks came from tribals, with the largest being a two-pronged assault in 2266 on Fort Eugene and Frankville led by the notorious Chief Kill-a-Ton. That attack was unsuccessful, and for a while, Fort Eugene seemed safe. Nonetheless, the settlement's population continued to decline.
When the War of the Northwestern Alliance began, taking Fort Eugene and depriving NCR of a forward base was one of the Northwestern Alliance's main goals. The settlement first felt the effects of the war when it was attacked by Stern's Raiders and some allied tribals who at that point just wanted to thin out the NCR garrison. With superior numbers and (for the most part) better weapons, Fort Eugene's garrison and townspeople easily repelled the attack. Soon afterwards, more townspeople left, seeing no future in Cascadia as the war heated up. More NCR forces began to pass through as well as Badlanders and after a while, there were sometimes more soldiers in the settlement than civilians.
Fort Eugene was felt the war's impact again in 2267 when Chief Eyeballs and his band of inbred tribal mutants arrived in the area. The chief mostly raided NCR caravans and harassed Frankville, but he also hoped to eventually take Fort Eugene for himself as a stronghold. Chief Eyeballs became feared in the area for pulling out disrespectful people's tongues and burning captives alive. He was finally pushed out the area after the Battle of Spring Field, when he and his tribal band were pushed out of the area by the NCR.
Fort Eugene puttered on for another year but by then it was clear that the town was dying. Caravaners and NCR citizens alike were fleeing, not wanting to feel the fury of the Northwestern Alliance when the time came. Reduced caravan traffic also fed this migration, as many non-NCR caravaners jumped ship. Many of the original NCR settlers and garrison held firm though, determined to hold onto what they had built from the ashes of the Old World.
Fort Eugene finally met the full fury of the Northwestern Alliance in 2268, besieged by Stern's Raiders, Oregon homesteader militias, Oregon tribals, super mutants, and the Sons of Liberty. The Alliance caught the NCR at that moment with their pants down, and the Bear was unable to break through the siege lines, dooming the once prosperous settlement. Even the efforts of the indomitable Badlander Screwball Tripstorm were not enough to save Fort Eugene, and the settlement was ultimately breached by sheer force of arms. The NCR garrison initially tried to defend the breach but soon retreated with the town falling soon afterwards. Captain Jakob Stern was killed in the initial chaos after the breach, dealing a serious blow to the Alliance as a whole.
After Fort Eugene fell to the Northwestern Alliance, it was cleared out, razed with fire, and left to the elements. The Alliance looted anything valuable left and moved on. The NCR eventually won the War of the Northwestern Alliance but never resettled Fort Eugene, even with the settlement Frankville being nearby. So, the settlement still stands desolate, a haunt for scavengers and the occasional curious drifter.
Fort Eugene was governed by small but efficient town government made up the mayor and several bureaucrats, similar to towns back in NCR. The mayor was democratically elected and oversaw Fort Eugene dealings with other settlements while also managing their money. The sheriff, also elected, was in charge of law enforcement in Fort Eugene and the protection of its citizens in case of attack. The NCR garrison in town were not subject to law within Fort Eugene and if they misbehaved were sent back to NCR for trial or punishment.
Law in Fort Eugene was much more lax than back in NCR (or even Frankville for that matter). Examples of this include their toleration of chem usage and open carry within the town. This laxness was so as not to alienate caravaners and travelers from outside the NCR, typically from further north or east.
Fort Eugene was first and foremost a hub for trade between NCR and wider Cascadia. Caravans from far and wide came to Fort Eugene before going further on their way, with most of the traffic coming from the remains of I-5. Many exotic goods and products came through the town's gates, some legal in NCR, some not so much. The main products going through Fort Euegene were lumber, scrap electronics, and purified water. Acting as an NCR outpost in Cascadia, it was very important to both sides of the trading route.
The town itself had several shops catering to caravaners and also had a light scavenging industry in the ruins of the pre-War city of Eugene. With food provided by the sharecropper settlement Frankville, Fort Eugene never had to grow its own food.
The walls of Fort Eugene was its most prominent feature, protecting the town from the pre-War ruins of Eugene and the ravages of the wasteland. Inside the walls were many different buildings constructed after the Great War, mostly made of sandcrete and lumber (these now stand in ruins). The NCR garrison was housed in a large stockade near the center of Fort Eugene, which also functioned as the town's armory.
Fort Eugene's culture was similar to the NCR but less stringent when it came to laws, more focused on making money. The settlement hosted a lot of different types of people such as NCR settlers, Cascadian caravaners, Oregon tribals, Badlanders, mutants, and many others. These different groups lived mostly in harmony but would sometimes clash, rarely with violence though.
Built atop the ruins of pre-War Eugene, Fort Eugene was located near the intersection of the remains of I-5 and Highway 126. The settlement also straddled the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers.
Fort Eugene had good relations with its neighbors in Oregon for many years before its destruction, regardless of its ties to the often-loathed NCR. The settlement was integral to many caravans passing between New California and Cascadia and so was begrudgingly accepted. That was until the Oregon Brushfire Wars when the Fort Eugene's neighbors began to attack with increasing intensity because of its value to NCR. The residents of Fort Eugene tried to appeal to their neighbors' better judgement but failed, with the settlement finally being sacked and razed in 2268.
For its whole history, Fort Eugene had a close relationship with NCR and the Republic's other settlement in the area, Frankville. NCR kept their garrison at Fort Eugene to protect the town and ensure trade flowed smoothly. Frankville, a sharecropper settlement, provided Fort Eugene with food while benefitting from the protection of the other town's NCR garrison.
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