- "Praise be, the holy city!"
- ―A ghoul pilgrim upon seeing Meridian
Meridian is a large town in eastern Mississippi and the capital of the Brethren of the Shroud. All baseline humans are barred from Meridian, and the town is inhabited exclusively by mutants.
Meridian was founded in 1860 and grew to become a major town in east Mississippi. In the twenty-first century, Meridian became a center of industry in southern Mississippi and a RobCo. facility was built there. During the late stages of Sino-American War, a U.S. Army supply yard was built there where the M42 Fat Man was manufactured.
The Great War
An important city with a five-figure population, Meridian was wrecked thoroughly, especially the East End and Highlands districts which suffered heavy damage. Luck or no luck, the fact is that the RobCo. building was located on the outskirts of the city and did not suffer as much damage as the buildings in the center. The bomb meant to level the military supply yard near the south highway, I-11, didn't detonate and was stuck in the ground there for almost two hundred years.
Since there were no Vaults, almost the entire population was ghoulified or mutated.
The ghoulified U.S. Army soldiers at the supply depot cooperated with the Meridian police department and instituted martial law. Looters were arrested and rioters were shot. The town was calmed down and remained a bulwark against the horrors of the nuclear wasteland. However, while Meridian prospered, an increasingly hostile religion grew with it. Noah Bollinger and his Brethren of the Shroud won over many followers with their message of mutant supremacy but respected the town's laws and guards for the time being.
In 2205, the U.S. Army remnants created the Mutant Free Republic. Meridian became the capital of the Republic and prospered for some time. Soon, the Republic made treaties with the settlements of Hatt, Mudpie, and Laurel and absorbed them. However, by 2223 raiders and internal problems began to set in. After a small civil war, Hatt and Laurel separated and riots broke out in Meridian. The Mutant Free Republic subsequently collapsed.
At that time, Noah Bollinger and his Brethren armed themselves and emerged to unite the city under their control and barred non-mutants from entering. Many soldiers of the failed Republic joined Bollinger because of their resentment of humans. The Brethren of the Shroud as a nation was born.
Bollinger appointed a Bishop to run the town, who later appointed Deacons to assist him. As the Brethren expanded, Meridian grew into an industrial powerhouse and immigration from other areas increased. Soon afterward, Brethren from other territories began to make pilgrimages to Meridian, which was endorsed by the Bishop in 2257.
During the Crucifix War, Meridian was seriously threatened by a hostile army. In response, defenses began to be constructed and were completed in 2278. The town is now watching west, fearful of another invasion.
The town is technically ruled by the Prophet Noah Bollinger, but the Bishop is the one who runs Meridian day to day.
Appointed Deacons run different sections and businesses of the town and act as both nobles and a bureaucracy for the Bishop.
The economy of Meridian is a mix of Feudalism and Capitalism. The Bishop and his deacons hold most of the town's wealth but merchants also contribute.
Meridian serves as the Brethren's power base, turning scrap into new equipment and weapons. Also, Meridian has a thriving tanning industry using brahmin hides. The pilgrim business is also lucrative but is usually more sleazy and untrustworthy.
Meridian's culture is muted, pious, and hard-working. The Brethren of the Shroud maintain this to put up a good image for pilgrims coming in from other lands.
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