|Ghoul Liberation Army|
|Type of Government:||Militant Insurgency|
|Location(s):||New Ghoulsburg, Michigan|
|Notable members:||Trenton Dingler|
The Ghoul Liberation Army was a militant Ghoul force who sought to create a Ghoul State within the Flint River area. In the pursuit of these goals, the group allied themselves with the Exaxes Warband during the disastrous Flint River war, ultimately leading to their downfall.
The Ghoul Liberation Army ultimately is the creation of Trenton Dingler, a militant Ghoul from the Minnesota region. Dingler had hoped to create a ghoul state, and had tried to raise an army in order to achieve his aims by force of arms. His plan had backfired, leading to the destruction of his force at the hands of the force that would eventually become the Fort Frost Guard. Betrayed, unwanted and a fugitive 'lose end' that the Guard would have liked to tie up, Dingler fled Minnesota and headed east.
He ultimately found himself in the Flint River area in Michigan, a violent and polluted region where constant shortages of resources lead to constant battles for survival among its various inhabitants. Many of the regions Ghouls had banded together after begin driven from their homes, forming the independent community of Ghoultown. Dingler joined the community, and immediately began to preach his own ideals of creating a Ghoul state at any cost in order to protect against 'oppression' at the hands of humans. In the violent environment of the Flint River, his words found very receptive ears.
Dinger used his experience to train a small number of Ghouls to act as a dedicated strike force. Under his lead, they launched expeditionary attacks against raider groups and even other communities in the region, both netting supplies for the community while also weakening their enemies. Dingler demonstrated a flair for leadership as well as unusual tactics, such as herding Feral Ghouls and using them as distractions. These tactics saw him damage several Raider groups who had been closing in on the community, greatly relieving the pressure on its people. These attacks made Dingler something of a local celebrity, with a number of Ghouls flocking to his side.
Using his newfound popularity, Dingler began to organise the town's forces along more military lines. Acknowledging their lack of numbers, he instead tried to make the best use of the forces at his disposal. While their equipment was often mismatched and made of whatever they could salvage, Dingler did his best to train his new army and give them the knowledge and tactics that they would need to make the most of their situation.
In 2274, he announced the formation of the Ghoul Liberation Army. Under his leadership, this new force began to attack other groups in the Flint River region, aimed at wiping them out. Several victories against the Wastors and other Raiders created a buffer zone of relative safety around the community; it also made Dinger a hero to its people. Soon, other Ghouls both from the community and then later from across the state were flocking to his side, with his army growing rapidly. While they were not the largest single force in the region, the Ghoul Liberation Army were quickly becoming one of its more capable ones.
The biggest single boost to Trenton's personal army came in early 2279 with the arrival of the Forgemaster. Leading their own private army, they sized control of Flint, and quickly transformed it into their own domain. Many were fearful of what this new force might bring, especially as the Foundry began to quickly display a pro-human, anti-Ghoul stance. Ghouls were driven from their homes, and Dingler was there to accept them with open arms. Every refugee was seen as a potential recruit and a way for him to expand his considerable power base.
As the Foundry sought to expand its influence, Dingler saw more opportunities to expand his own. He played on the fears of the Flint River's Ghouls, painting the Foundry as being an oppressive, genocidal army of conquest that sought to wipe out all Ghouls. That the Foundry was openly expanding its territory helped to underscore his point. At the same time, the Foundry were displacing raiders and other groups with their conquests. Many of them were forced to seek other targets for their aggression, and new Goulsburg ended up in their sights.
Dingler urged the leaders of New Ghoulsburg to act, lest the community and its people fall before them. They complied, greatly expanding his powers, making him the city's leader in all but name in short order. Behind the rhetoric, however, Dingler was genuinely concerned. While his army was growing, he also knew that there was no realistic way for him to defeat the Foundry. Their forces were larger, better equipped and better organised, and had converted Flint into a fortress that would be impossible for them to crack. At the same time, he knew that should they turn their eyes to New Ghoulsburg, then there was very little that he could do to stop them.
The Flint River War
An opportunity would arrive for Dingler from a rather unexpected quarter. The entry of the Exaxes Warband into the region tipped the balance of power by adding a second large, well-organised, well-equipped, high-tech force to the situation. Furthermore, while most of those in the region had never even heard of the Decimators, Dingler had experienced them first hand. This meant that he was caught by surprise when they approached him regarding a potential alliance.
He was initially wary; after all, the Decimators had no love for ghouls. On the other hand, the Decimators made it clear that they wished to eliminate the Foundry as a threat, which nicely coincided with his own aims. At the same time, as much as he disliked the Decimators, Dingler still bore a personal grudge against the Fort Frost Guard and their leadership. By helping the Decimators, he felt that he would be hurting them, while at the same time finding ways to advance his own agenda.
Dingler agreed to the alliance, selling it to his followers as one of convenience that would serve to eliminate the greatest threat to their safety while furthering their own goals. He made it clear that he had no love either for the Exaxes or their other allies, but that he would "play along" with them for as long as it was convenient for them. By talking up the threat of the Foundry, he was able to soothe tensions and defuse concerns about this alliance while painting himself as being a genius for playing the Exaxes to his own ends.
At first, his decision seemed to be fully justified. The Exaxes alliance pushed back the Foundry's forces, seizing territory and material. However, as the campaign bogged down, Dingler began to find more and more of his followers questioning his decisions. The Ghoul Liberation Army were losing numbers for no real gain, and there were those that felt that they were being sacrificed in order to preserve human lives. Dinger did his best to ward off their concerns, but secretly, he could see just how bad the situation was degenerating.
In early August 2284, Dingler and several other leaders were called to task by Exaxes (VI). The Decimator Warcheif revealed his plans for a new offensive, aimed at driving to the Foundry's gates. This offensive would be lead by his collected allies, which Dingler quickly assessed to mean that they would also be taking the bulk of the casualties. This caught him in a bind; while he knew that the Ghoul Liberation Army were being used as bait, he couldn't afford to pull out of the alliance and admitting his mistake. Reluctantly, he agreed to support the offensive, then immediately turned around and tried to sell it to his followers as an opportunity for a glorious victory.
The truth proved to be anything but. Lead by the Ghoul Liberation Army and their other allies, the Exaxes surged and drove straight at the Foundry itself. Feeling that victory was at hand, Dingler's charge instead ran straight into a trap laid by the Foundry's armies. Pinned down on three sides, their formations lost coherence and degenerated into chaos as those present tried to flee the slaughter. Dingler himself only barely made it out alive, having been given up for dead by his followers.
With their offensive crushed, the Exaxes pulled out, leaving their allies hanging in the wind. By the time they had retreated back to New Ghoulsburg, the force had lost two thirds of its strength. Dingler's turning up alive was of little comfort to his followers, given that he had not only lead them into disaster but had been the one to sign them up to this alliance to begin with. When all was said and done, the Ghoul Liberation Army had gained nothing for its massive losses.
The recriminations began almost immediately, with the New Ghoulsburg leadership looking to distance themselves from the fiasco. They ordered the army disbanded, and its survivors folded back into the community's own self-defense force. While most of its surviving leaders were accepted back into the community, the leadership chose to make Dingler into a scapegoat for their support of the alliance while also removing him as a threat to stability. At the same time, they wanted to appear merciful and take the moral high ground, and sentenced him to be exiled from the city. Dingler was forced out into the wastes, never to return.
The goal of the Ghoul Liberation Army was to create an independent Ghoul state within the Flint River region through the force of arms. Their hope was to drive out humans (and Super Mutants, robots and other such menaces) from the region and then secure it for their own. From there, the Ghoul Liberation Army hoped to build its strength by inviting other Ghouls from outside the region to join their ranks. The decision to build their state in the Flint River region was based on the idea that while much of the region was toxic to humans, Ghouls would be unaffected. This way, the very land itself would help protect them.
In truth, the army was as much about justice for all Ghouls and protecting them as it was about Dingler creating his own personal powerbase. Any talk of guiding principles or the like were secondary to his own ambitions and what could be done to further them. For example, while the alliance with the Exaxes flew in the face of all he claimed to stand for, Dingler personally saw it as a way to help himself, even if it meant sacrificing his own people in the process.
Only Ghouls could join the Ghoul Liberation army. This was the result of a strict us-against-them mentality born of years of conflict with other groups in the Flint River region. Added to that, Trenton Dinger's past experiences had made him wary of any humans claiming to be allies or even sympathetic to their cause. The training generally weeded out those that weren't loyal to the cause or felt that there should be some room for compromise in their ideology.
The leadership structure of the army was based entirely around a traditional, top-down pyramid hierarchy, with orders flowing from commanders to junior officers and then to the troops. Dingler was the supreme commander of the force, and had made no provision whatsoever for his replacement should he be killed. This was intentional on his part as to make him essentially irreplaceable.
In the field, their units would sometimes supplement their strength with feral Ghouls that they would attempt to heard and control. In such cases, Ferals would be used to guard their field bases or as attack dogs. In some cases, they were also used as a crude form of minesweeper.
Overall the Ghoul Liberation Army possessed a low quality of equipment and technology, on par with typical raiders despite their size. Most of its members were armed with a hodge-podge of mismatched equipment. Many of its members were armed with scratch-built "pipe" rifles of varying quality, or even simple melee weapons such as clubs or sledgehammers. Some of the more capable and better-trained soldiers, specifically those that were more loyal to Dingler himself, were equipped with scavenged pre-war weapons, such as N99 10mm Pistols, R91 Assault Rifles or Shotguns.
During the Flint River War, the army took to scavenging weapons from fallen Foundry soldiers or even their own allies. This resulted in a number of their soldiers being equipped with Foundry-made Assault and Sniper Rifles, as well as some of the more exotic weapons used by the Exaxes. At the end of the war, the surviving weapons were re-distributed among the New Ghoulsburg militia. They also stripped parts from downed Exaxes robots for trading or re-purposing into other technologies, but this was done on a more limited basis.
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