- "Not all who wander are lost."
|Location:||Florida Keys, Florida|
|Factions:||Rafters, Caribbean Exploration Commission|
|Notable events:||Sack of Key West (2215), founding of the Caribbean Exploration Commission (2255)|
|Current status:||Free port and base of the Caribbean Exploration Commission|
Key West, once the southernmost point of the continental United States, now stands as one of the few island cities of the Florida Keys to survive post-war. A free port open to all rafters and traders, Key West serves as a way station for people going around the Gulf Belt who want to avoid the pirate-ridden waters of Miami. The Caribbean Exploration Commission was founded there and uses Key West as a base for its expeditions.
Key West was not targeted by nuclear weapons during the Great War, but felt the brunt of the fallout from American strikes on Cuba. Many local residents fled north to the mainland.
For almost the next hundred years, Key West remained mostly abandoned aside from some ghouls holed up in the houses. The water level rose, putting the waterfront underwater and consuming the only bridge connecting the city to the mainland.
It was the Gulf Belt that brought life back into Key West. The trade route around the Gulf of Mexico went through Florida and many boaters began to wash up on Key West and admire the ruins there.
It only took one enterprising rafter for settlement to take off. Helen Matthews, a rafter from the Big Easy, settled down in Key West in 2175 and opened up a bar, the Belt Queen. Over the next fifty years, more and more people (mostly rafters) settled down in Key West. By 2200, Key West's population had grown to over one hundred. Its remote location and lack of nearby piracy made it an attractive option for many rafters not wishing to brave the waters of Miami. A pre-war riverboat called the "The Dancing Dolphin" was even restored in Key West's harbor, showing off the town's skill and prestige.
This success is ultimately what led to the sack of Key West by Miami-based pirates in 2212, which burned down the Belt Queen and devastated the community. The survivors, previously ambivalent to the presence of pirates as long as they provided good trade, became rabidly anti-pirate and barred them from entering the port (at least publicly).
In 2215, the Key West Port Authority was formed by the wealthier citizens of the town to police the waterfront and defend the town, in essence creating a plutocracy. A small militia was even formed to help in the defense of Key West. However, the Key West Port Authority and its militia were horribly corrupt, filled with mercenaries and drafted criminals, and proved to be a poor substitute for actual governance. Nonetheless, some government was better than none and the port began to grow again.
For the next few decades, things in Key West continued as normal with steady growth, reaching one hundred people again in 2250. However, things began to change that very year.
A wealthy, reclusive ghoul known only as the Banker came forward from in late 2250 to gather a group of explorers together to map out and explore the Caribbean. This group would come to be known as the Caribbean Exploration Commission. As more boaters and adventurers came to Key West to join the Commission, the population of Key West doubled. Soon, members of the Commission made friends in the Key West Port Authority and the Banker even became a voting member of the Authority Council.
Trade flourishes in Key West currently, and the Caribbean Exploration Commission continues to send out expeditions from Key West.
The culture of Key West is heavily influenced by its position in the Gulf Belt and the people that come there to trade. It is diverse but more orderly than most free ports.
Residents of Key West are also fiercely anti-pirate, as historically pirates (and hurricanes) have been the greatest threats Key West has faced.
A terminus for trade on the Gulf Belt, Key West mainly operates as a supply base for boaters heading further south and west to Cuba and Mexico. Also, the port serves as a haven for those wishing to avoid the near anarchy of the Orange Bowl.
Products as exotic as robots, plasma weapons, and lemons pass through Key West, and the town reaps the benefits.
The local government, the Key West Port Authority, acts as a plutocracy, with only the wealthiest citizens of Key West being selected for the Authority Council. There must be an election by the sitting members of the Authority Council for there to be a new member. This makes the system rather corrupt and hinges largely on nepotism and bribery.
The Key West Port Authority provides some law and order for the port, but prefers a hands-off policy in regards to trade in favor of a free market.
- The Orange Bowl- Key West has rather frosty relations with the Orange Bowl on account of it being a "pirate hellhole". The Key West Port Authority regularly has public hangings for pirates from the Orange Bowl who are caught in the act while turning a blind eye to pirates that don't cause any trouble and frequent the port's stores.
- The Big Easy- The Big Easy is a major trading partner of Key West. In addition to the comings and goings of independent traders from New Orleans, the Royaume's ruler has dispatched a courtier to represent him to the locals and keep abreast of the markets in the east: Raimond Lacoste. Monsieur Lacoste and his staff reside on the HMS Bessie Smith.
- Fort Jefferson - The Admiralty Council at one point saw the Key West as a target due to the town's proximity to their base on Garden Key. However, over the years, many pirate crews have taken to patronizing the town rather than raiding it. Thus, the Admiralty Council has seen it fit to keep a sort of peace with the Key West.
|This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.|