|Madame Rostock's Strong Man Challenge|
|Owned By:||Madame Natalia Rostock|
|Incorporation Status:||traveling fighters|
One of the stranger caravans in the Badlands Territory, Madame Rostock has gathered the strongest, fastest and deadliest ghouls from across the region. She brings them from town to town seeking to pit them against the willing. The fact all of the ghouls are sentient is usually lost on contestants until its too late.
Natalia Rostock was a competitive weightlifter before the war, immigrating from Chechnya in 2075. She had hopes of the American Dream, but that would be put on hold by atomic hellfire. She would be forced to survive in a hostile world, becoming a ghoul along the way. After almost two centuries, she began to take up her old passion, lifting.
She would impress some of the people of Timber Lake with her ability, and she would draw a small crowd for the next few days. On her last planned morning in the town, she was approached by Harold Marzak and another ghoul, a noticeably tall man.
Marzak told her that the other ghoul was able to match her, and proposed a friendly wager. Natalia, unable to stomach a challenge, accepted without hearing the terms. She would then dead lift her projected weight, an impressive feat. The other ghoul clapped before lifting the same amount with ease. Laughing as he set it down, he told her that he won.
She replied by punching him, knocking him unconscious. Marzak declared her the winner when the other man woke up, and also introduced him as Tomas. Harold then proposed they take their show on the road. The pair would follow Marzak's suggestion, traveling the region in search of the strongest, toughest fighters, of whom they only took the ghouls.
After passing the winter of 2272 in Plummet, Madame Rostock and her group returned to the Badlands as Madame Rostock's Strong Man Challenge, where ordinary men and women can test their mettle against the toughest ghouls in the territory. The first few contestants quickly found out that these weren't some shambling ferals, and their families often left in tears.
It would be great promotion however and Madame Rostock always would find a challenger waiting in the next town. This trend would end in 2276 however, when they failed to attract a contestant for three weeks straight. They would pull into the village of Farmer's Town hungry and desperate for challengers. They would find them lacking, as the people were of a timid sort.
Rostock and the others would start to berate them, hoping to goad someone into a fight, but no one rose. Frustrated to their limit, several ghouls would draw their weapons, which scared the townspeople, and caused several to drop to their knees in surrender. This only served to further anger the ghouls, who proceeded to loot the village, assaulting any who objected.
Few would object, and the ghouls would be out of town quickly after. They laughed as they ate that night, skewering the villagers. They would receive challengers at their next stops, and thoughts of raiding were put in the back of their minds. They would return to Plummet for the winter and practice their crafts, sparing with McRuddy's thugs daily.
The rest of the seventies saw the ghouls undefeated in their challenge, and rob a few more towns, once leading to a small firefight with some Badlands Roughriders. The summer of 2282 would bring change, however, as they would find multiple challengers in The Free State of Vermillion. One of the men, a lanky blonde man with a switchblade would manage to kill Felix, the ghouls' bladesman.
Having never thought that they could actually lose, they were unsure on what to do. Madame Rostock, stunned, declared the human the winner which went unheard over the roar of the crowd. The ghouls would discuss the matter extensively that night, and sought out the man the next morning, offering him a spot in the challenge.
The man introduced him as Howard and declined initially, but would be convinced by the Madame. Since then Madame Rostock has continued to challenge the people of the Territory, wagering them lives for material prizes.
Activites & Interests
Madame Rostock and her fighters travel constantly during the warm seasons, visiting every major location in the region (that they are allowed in), often setting up camp before drawing a crowd. They winter in Plummet, having a mutual understanding with McRuddy. They believe strength is everything, but there are more types of strength other than physical, with weapon skills and cunning being just as legitimate.
While every man and women in the troupe is talented, there are those who stand out;
- Howard: A human from Vermillion, he is much more proficient with a blade than his looks would hint at. He is the newest addition to the group, but is one of the more popular opponents.
- Tomas: A tall, Muscular Ghoul, Tomas enjoys toying with his opponents, throwing them around before making them quit. He is moody however, and will often kill challengers on a bad day.