- "I swear we will hold this spot from these scumbags! I'll put that on my Honor!"
- ―Incorrect last words of Tag Neulson, Dakota Regulator, to his men.
|Location:||Rapid City, Badlands Territory|
|Current status:||reving up|
The future site of Honor's Cost would be a pedestrian mall before the war, located in trendy south Rapid City. It would just start the shopping day when the bombs fell on October 23, 2077. It would be picked through in the years afterward, though no permanent camp was constructed. It would be found and claimed by the 8s, a large and active raider gang in 2207. The bandits would clear out the debris from some of the smaller shops and made a crude wall on the main thoroughfare, forcing any attacker to approach from one of two bottlenecks.
The 8s would launch dozens of raids from this stronghold, gaining prominence and wealth, but also the attention of the Dakota Regulators. Tag Nuelson, a young but experienced Sergeant, was assigned to clear out the 8s and claim the camp as their forward base. By the time Nuelson and his platoon fought their way to the camp, they had lost around half their men, but picked up numerous mercenary and 'reformed' raider crews, and slaughtered the defenders after climbing the main wall.
The Regulators dug-in and reinforced the buildings during the winter of 2208, as much for warmth as for protection and waited for reinforcements. The camp would be taken the following summer by a coalition of raider gangs, fearful of a Regulator camp that deep in the ruins. The camp would then be claimed by the Rust Bones, who renamed it Honor's Cost in jest of Nuelson's final words. The raiders closed up the fronts of shops and knocked down interior walls, scavenging the neighborhood clean of supplies as they transformed the mall to their home.
The Cost would prove an initially busy spot, as raider chiefs used it as neutral ground to discuss treaties but by the summer of 2210, this had stopped. The Cost would soon gain fame in the area, as the bones rebuilt the main wall and put Nuelson's skeleton in a chair on a small platform overlooking it.
Scavengers, shady traders, and a few slaves would come in the years following, but following the collapse of the coalition in 2215, it becomes almost wholly a raider-camp, though anyone claiming to be a metal-worker would find a warm welcome.
The Cost would be expanded during the Great Raider Wars, as smaller gangs joined the Bones for protection, with spotlights being mounted around the walls. Siege would again fall on the Cost in 2259, as chem-crazed vault dwellers swept across the ruins.
Initially underestimating these newcomers, the Rust Bones would be forced back to the Cost after being swarmed in open battle. The Vault-Dwellers would attack the walls for a week, each time getting a little closer to clearing them. The Bones would rally after a week and break the siege, routing the Dwellers after a savage melee that left many raiders dead.
The Cost would be devastated during this time, with only the Bones' original camp being somewhat intact. The rest of that year was spent rebuilding, with the wall fixed just before the first snow. The Cost would shrink over the next decade, as the remaining Bones concentrated closer to their Tower in the heart of the camp.
As the Bones began to recover, the Cost would remain a shadow of its former self until 2279, when Edward Taylor would supply the Bones with Shiver. Word spread quickly through the ruins about a new chem, and the Cost would see merchants and traders for the first time in almost forty years, and the resulting profits have been put towards repairing the damage.
Since then the Cost has been undergoing off-and-on construction as the Bones feel inclined, and frequently hosts caravans interested in Shiver and other chems. In 2287 The Cost is filled with the sounds of hammers clanging as the Bones prepare for whats predicted to be an especially cold winter, and the walls are double-watched. Whatever the threat, Honor's Cost seems likely to weather it.
The Cost is usually in one of three states; celebrating victory; Honoring their dead and ancestors, or preparing for battle, when the camp is filled with the clanging of hammers. Outsiders are initially kept outside the walls, but can gain access with the right words. Laziness has started to show itself within the camp as more and more Bones start to experiment with Shiver, which has started to annoy the current chief.
Barter is king in Honor's Cost, with battle trophies and crafted armor often being worth more than Ring-pulls. Merchants and smugglers have learned to bring food, weapon parts and ammo to trade with the Bones, who are known to be arbitrary. Slaves are allowed but are rarely traded in, as most slavers are viewed as 'from outside.' The workshop is a popular destination for traders as well, as the more experienced Bones will sometimes sell armor.
The Cost currently fits inside a portion of the pedestrian mall, sitting in a T-shaped junction. A wall blocks the main entrance, leaving two narrow passages for traders or attackers to approach from. The inside is covered by awning and tents of all varieties, with the inside of the stores being converted for the needs of the raiders. At the center of the camp is a crude scrap tower with the lower portions covered in scrap metal armor of all varieties and shapes. A small altar sits in front of the tower for raiders to leave gifts for their departed comrades and ancestors.