- "Would Martha be proud of us now? Who knows? Who cares?"
- ―Pantheon News on New Years Eve of 2274, the bicentennial of the founding of Martha's Gulch
|Location:||Olympian Peninsula, Washington|
|Notable Individuals:||Caroline Finch, Vigo Adams, Zelda Walker, Samantha Dearborn|
|Factions:||Atlas Guard, Pantheon Radio|
|Notable events:||Great War, Olympian Civil War|
Martha's Gulch, an expansive secure compound in Cascadia, was created before the Great War by the rich and paranoid libertarian billionaire Martha Lore to serve as refuge against the "injustices" of the federal government. Two hundred years later, Martha's Gulch serves as the capital of the isolationist Libertarian Republic of Gulch and the headquarters of Atlas Guard. It is also the center of commerce in the Olympian Peninsula and home to Pantheon Radio, a radio station devoted to the truth that has been a thorn in the side of Atlas Guard for years.
Martha's Gulch originated as an idea by heavily opinionated pre-War billionaire Martha Lore. A staunch libertarian in the business of war profiteering, Lore was growing paranoid as the Sino-American War was winding down and the U.S. government became more authoritarian. She wanted to build a place to be safe from government intrusion or worse, the press. In 2071, Martha Lore talked with multiple architects and builders to try to fulfill her dream in the remote backwoods of Washington. Lore figured that would be far enough away to be safe from prying eyes.
It took three years to build Martha's Gulch. First, Lore covertly paid the Park Service to overlook any construction taking place in Olympian State Park, Lore's ideal location to build her refuge. After that bit of bribery, construction crews moved in and began building to Lore's specifications. Martha's Gulch was an ambitious undertaking and attracted quite a bit of attention from 2071 to 2074. Luckily for Lore, journalists and most locals knew not to mess with her due to her reputation. The few protesters that popped up over the years were removed as harshly as possible without being fatal.
Martha's Gulch was officially finished on February 28, 2074. Martha Lore moved into her personal residence, the House of Wealth, a short time later along with her pet chimpanzees and security detail. This satisfied Lore in that moment and for two years, she lived in Martha's Gulch in between business trips to New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
As the years and war went on, Lore's wealth and paranoia increased. The feds' crackdown on personal liberties, the escalation of the war, and America's refusal to sell oil led Lore to believe that there would only two ways it all could end: a revolt bringing back state rights and personal liberties or World War III.
So, Martha Lore decided to invite several prominent libertarian groups to Martha's Gulch to prepare for what she assumed would be the apocalypse. The Gulch would need protection come the nuclear fire, and Lore needed to see who she could trust. In the end, she narrowed it down to five groups. Three were libertarian groups of various stripes (the Sons of Liberty, the New Order, and the Constitutionalists), one was an objectivist group (Atlas Guard), and the other was a fringe government watchdog group (the Watchmen).
Only wanting to admit four groups, Martha Lore decided to exclude the New Order. In 2076, she met with the leaders of the other groups in Martha's Gulch to plan and build the groups' respective camps. The leaders sucked up to Lore, and she was satisfied with their specifications for their camps.
As the camps were being built, however, several members of the Constitutionalists were found to be part of a pedophile ring and guilty of child abduction and molestation. The group was lambasted by the media and subsequently broke apart in later 2076.
Martha Lore was relieved that her reputation was not tarnished along with the Constitutionalists but now found herself with an extra camp being built. So, at the advice of the Sons of Liberty, she made overtures to the New Order to take their place in Martha's Gulch. They accepted her offer.
The New Order moved in 2077, and the various groups finally settled down in their respective camps. Martha's Gulch seemed to be a self-sufficient libertarian paradise to the inhabitants for a short time in 2077, even as the world outside fell apart.
Martha's Gulch was watched intently by the government in 2077 for any possible slip up. The self-sufficient compound disappointed them with its lack of activity. Tensions inside the compound were still high though. The New Order was constantly being racist towards the other groups and the Watchmen often refused to cooperate with the other groups on principle. Nonetheless, Martha's Gulch doggedly pushed on. Martha Lore oversaw the camps and managed to keep the peace.
October 23, 2077 came to Martha's Gulch without any kind of warning. Martha had a vague idea that a nuclear confrontation would happen around that time but did not know the exact day it would happen. The residents heard the Chinese planes pass over before the bombings. Panicking, Martha activated the compound's air sirens and directed the residents to file to the fallout shelter.
Martha, her staff, the four groups, and even Martha's pet apes huddled together in the dark, badly-lit fallout shelter. Martha was certain supplies could last them two years at the least, but tensions were running high. The footsoldiers of New Order were constantly being bigoted and racist towards the other groups, especially the Watchmen because they were led by an Asian, Tamir Nguyen. The Sons of Liberty and Atlas Guard largely sided with the Watchmen against the New Order, seeing them as parasitic racists. These scuffles were seen as pointless by Martha and she warned the New Order's leader, Joseph Manx, that further agitation would be punished. Manx promised to make his men behave.
However, this proved to be a hollow promise and soon the scuffles turned violent. Even as the world died above, the groups underground began to clash with each other as well, with three Watchmen and two New Order members dying in a brawl in December 2077. It was clear that the New Order could not coexist with the other groups, even to Martha. After several meetings and truces, it was decided that the New Order would leave the fallout shelter first to stop confrontation with the other groups.
New Order scouts investigated the surface above in January 2078. They found it still too radioactive, and two died of radiation poisoning. The New Order stayed in the fallout shelter for another tense month before going topside again. Then, they found the surface to be survivable, and the rest of the New Order quickly followed the scouts above to their camp in Martha's Gulch.
The rest of the groups stayed underground, got to know each other, and struggled to get by. Martha managed to coordinate the fallout shelter's food supply and equipment well enough to succeed.
However, the New Order on the surface were in their element, their survivalist mode. They, without the other groups' knowledge, projected their forces south down the Interstate and east towards Seattle from Martha's Gulch. Being the best armed and trained group besides a few U.S. Army remnants in the region, the New Order had free reign to begin their race war to attempt to cleanse the Northwest of the three evils: "Jews, Chinks, and Niggers". Any asians or blacks that were caught by the New Order was either forced to leave the area or killed while jews were killed on sight. Isolated underground, the groups underneath Martha's Gulch still hid, aloof of the New Order's race war above.
The New Order continued to mess with the Seattle area until the arrival of Skull-Taker in 2079, when they withdrew back to their camp at Martha's Gulch. Though New Order scouts still ranged towards Seattle, their main body stayed at the camp. This ranging around gave many in the New Order critical amounts of radiation and hurt them critically down the road.
In late 2079, Martha decided that it high time to emerge from the fallout shelter as the food supply was running low. So, Martha and the other groups emerged to a cold dark surface and were greeted by the already battle-hardened New Order. Martha Lore was happy to find the House of Wealth still maintained if a little musty. She and her chimpanzees moved back in.
The Watchmen were already having second thoughts about everything the moment they emerged from the fallout shelter. Anti-statist watchdogs with a paranoid streak, the Watchmen had already heard rumors of Martha Lore's plans to create a "utopian libertarian state" upon reaching the surface. After hearing of the Watchmen's apprehension, Martha met with their leader to assure them she would do no such thing.
For the next year, the four groups tried to scratch out a living in their respective camps (the New Order still raided outside} while Martha Lore lived in the House of Wealth with her chimpanzees. However, problems soon emerged as the groups began to clash once again. This time it was the Watchmen on the chopping block for their endless paranoia and practical non-contribution to the Gulch's defense. Also, many in the camp, including Martha's chimpanzees, were taking radiation poisoning from being close the Seattle metropolitan area. Martha, fearing mass mutation, declaring that mutation would be punishable by immediate execution. This was self-carried out by the Sons of Liberty and Atlas Guard. The New Order made a front of doing this but effectively hid many in their ranks who were somewhat mutated. However, the Watchmen saw this move as authoritarian and in violation of the founding principles of Martha's Gulch. After a meeting among themselves, the Watchmen found themselves divided along the next course of action. The majority of the Watchmen felt like it was too late to fix Martha's Gulch. A few others wanted to simply try to reason with Martha and the other groups. While this situation went down, Martha had to wrangle the continued conflict between the New Order and the other groups. She was unhappy then to hear that most of the Watchmen were leaving.
The Watchmen were determined to leave, and Martha did not want to fight them. Martha did manage to negotiate the release of the dissenting Watchmen to stay in Martha's Gulch. Nyugen agreed with Martha and decided to take his men and women north to new lands. The other groups thought the Watchmen were fools and welcomed the remaining Watchmen into their respective groups.
For around the next half a century, the groups continued to live on in Martha's Gulch in an isolated peace with Martha as their nominal ruler. The only group to regularly leave the Gulch was the New Order, who did so to "recruit" and scout the wasteland. No one asked any questions when New Order men went out on patrols and brought back babies. At the same time, the other groups tried to test out their different ideologies in their camps with mostly successful results and sometimes repelling attacks from raiders. Also during that time, Martha's pet apes got heavy doses of radiation and had their hair fall out. These apes were the predecessors of Apeshit.
In 2131, Martha had already slipped into senility and was bedridden. On May 8, she called the leaders of the Sons of Liberty, Atlas Guard, and New Order to her bedside in the House of Wealth. There, she talked to the leaders about the future. Besides the New Order, the groups wanted to continue a policy of isolation towards the outside and wanted to maintain the status quo. Lore saw the drawbacks of this but did not have the energy to argue. She simply warned theat there would eventually be outside forces that the groups would have to confront, whether they liked it or not. Three days later, Martha died. Her death was held in reverence by all three groups.
After Martha's death, the three remaining groups made the House of Wealth and the buildings around it the collective property of everyone. A loud minority saw this as spitting on Martha Lore's vision of a libertarian utopia, but they did not go against the move.
In the following century or so, Martha's Gulch remained relatively peaceful. There were sporadic skirmishes between the groups and one notable murder spree within the New Order but overall, the groups remained in harmony. However even as the peace lasted, the groups grew further apart, especially Atlas Guard and the New Order.
In 2143, Pantheon Radio emerged as an independent player from Martha Lore's former private radio station. Founded by a former Watchman, Pantheon Radio served as a center of integrity for the area. They soon fostered a grudge with the New Order, whose secresy often obstructed Pantheon Radio's reporters outside Martha's Gulch. Also, the population of Martha's mutated pet apes began to grow too large for their enclosure. In 2150, most of the beasts, dubbed Apeshit, were released north of Martha's Gulch since no one really wanted to kill them off. The remaining Apeshit were utilized as "attack-dogs" by the residents of the Gulch.
As the 2100s neared their end, Martha's Gulch began to come apart at the seams. The three remaining groups were becoming increasingly suspicious of each other and Pantheon News was not letting up on poking its nose into everyone's business. The owner of the radio station, the mentat-addicted, good-natured megalomaniac Willard Higgins, was determined to expose the "supposed atrocities" of the New Order.
Martha's Gulch was almost destroyed in 2182 when a Son of Liberty gunned down a New Order footsoldier for having an affair with his wife. Higgins tried to use this incident to try to convince the other groups to take down the New Order but was forced to commit suicide before being arrested for causing the controversy in the first place.
Pantheon Radio managed to escape punishment for the incident, but relations between the groups were forever damaged. The next two decades were a lead-up to what seemed to be an inevitable war, especially for the New Order. The news of their crimes would come out sooner rather than later, and they needed to act quickly.
In 2211, the New Order finally made its move, pulling almost all of its external footsoldiers back to Martha's Gulch for "the final revolution". Atlas Guard noticed this, and their leader informed the Sons of Liberty of the troop movements. They quickly decided to ally with each other to fend off the New Order.
The battle that sparked the Olympian Civil War began in October 12, 2211. The New Order attempted an assault on Pantheon Radio to clean up loose ends first. It only took a few minutes for the other groups to react. The New Order was overwhelmed by the numbers and forced to retreat into the wasteland beyond the fence of Martha's Gulch.
The exodus of the New Order gave way to a brief period of doubt about what happened. That was until Pantheon News finally reached outside sources and revealed the skeletons in the New Order's closet.
The remaining two groups, the Sons of Liberty and Atlas Guard, had by that time become wary of each other. It eventually led to the Sons of Liberty leaving Martha's Gulch in 2226.
That left just Atlas Guard in charge with Pantheon Radio acting as a smaller independent figure. The leader of the Guard at the time, George Banner, wanted to finally create a kind of minarchist government, limited but still there. In 2230, the Libertarian Republic of Gulch was established.
Since then, Atlas Guard have kept Martha's Gulch relatively isolated, only open to trade. However, some civilians have been allowed in Martha's Gulch to fill in the empty camps under the protection of Atlas Guard. Pantheon Radio has continued to harry the Guard with their viewpoints but is still respected as a counterbalance to authoritarianism.
However, the isolation has been occasionally broken due to war, twice against the New Order and once against the FNA. Their power projection has been effective so far, but if the NCR was to actually confront the LRG, Martha's Gulch would be imperiled. Pantheon Radio is more aware of this than Atlas Guard, and the radio station strives to make the Guard and other Cascadians as aware of this as possible.
The Martha's Gulch compound is centered around the Queets River and the House of Wealth, Martha Lore's personal residence. Around the House, a radio tower, a mess hall, and a fallout shelter exist, standing as a kind of a neutral ground between the various groups that once occupied Martha's Gulch. A cinema and greenhouse also stand nearby but are further away.
Away from the House are four separate camps consisting of living quarters, an armory, and farmland. These were made to house the Sons of Liberty, the New Order, the Watchmen, and Atlas Guard so they would not have to live together. Currently, Atlas Guard use the other abandoned camps as storage and housing for civilians.
On the edge of Martha's Gulch is an electrified fence that has been running (almost unbroken) for two hundred years. There are a few gaps in the fence, but it generally does a good job keeping out raiders, tribals, and wildlife.
Martha's Gulch is relatively self-sufficient and serves as the largest trade hub west of Seattle. The safety of the compound and economic liberties provides a great place for merchants to sell and exchange goods. Atlas Guard sells extra produce, lumber, and other services.
Pantheon Radio has provided a platform for advertisement space for almost one hundred years but strives to not be strongly influenced by any of its many sponsors. These sponsors come from all over Cascadia and range from caravans to mercenary companies to basket weaving companies.
Martha's Gulch does not use caps as currency and uses a barter system instead, seeing it as an unhealthy outside influence. However, they do still let merchants trade caps with each other to stimulate trade.
Atlas Guard enforces basic laws in Martha's Gulch in what they consider an objectivist manner. They protect property and punish criminals but avoid bureaucracy. In essence, Martha's Gulch is a free town with militia protection. Mutants, raiders, and other militias are allowed as long as they do not cause trouble or have not caused trouble in the past.
After the removal of the three other groups, Atlas Guard has asserted itself over Martha's Gulch and the Libertarian Republic of Gulch. Objectivism has become the law of the land. Individualism, education, and thriftiness are emphasized from a young age, and freedoms are guaranteed. This has led to some conflicts when civilians and Pantheon Radio has criticized Atlas Guard, but their word is accepted as idle but harmless chatter.
Martha Lore's memory and legacy is held in reverence by all in Martha's Gulch, even if her beliefs clashed somewhat with the Guard's. Her birthday, December 23, is celebrated as a holiday by many.
The residents of Martha's Gulch (and the Libertarian Republic of Gulch) practice a sort of isolationism, trading with the outside but preferring not to go there or conquer it. They prefer to stay self-sufficient and not interfere with the rest of Cascadia, knowing the mistakes of the past. Trade is emphasized over war, but Atlas Guard will fight if necessary. The only time they have attacked a non-New Order force on the outside was during the Oregon Brushfire Wars when they sent troops to fight the FNA and fend off NCR influence.
An undercurrent of hatred towards mutants has been present in Martha's Gulch since its early days. This hatred only increased when it was discovered that the New Order had partially mutated. However, nowadays mutants are allowed to trade in Martha's Gulch but cannot stay.
|This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.|