Mirelurk Bay is a bustling port on a man-made harbor on the eastern coast of Shaolin. Because of its location, the port is often seen as a gateway into New York Harbor. As a result, it is a hub of commerce to those passing by.
In the late 1800s, a businessman and naturalist by the name of John Crooke bought the land, which had previously been unsettled marsh and beach, as most of Shaolin’s shores were back at the time. After his death in 1916, the property was purchased by the City of New York and work on turning it into a public park began. Among the projects was dredging and clearing much of the salt marsh, turning the property into a man-made harbor adjacent to New York Bay. The project was delayed because of the Great Depression but was finally opened to the public in 1949. Needing the money, the City of New York sold the park to the federal government. The National Park Service became the custodians of the property, adding Great Kills Park to the catalog of sites within Gateway National Recreation Area.
Over the next few decades, the site provided numerous recreational amenities to visitors, including beaches, hiking trails, bike paths, sports fields, and a boating marina, in addition to natural and ecological activities such as bird watching, star gazing, and nature trails.
In 2012, a massive hurricane traveled north up the east coast. Named Hurricane Sandy, the storm made landfall on the Jersey Shore, causing massive damage in the region. Great Kills Park was not spared. Surging storm surge engulfed the entire park, eroding much of the beach, destroying the marina, and killing off much of the flora and fauna that was found in the site. Because of red tape and the high cost for repairing the damage, the park was closed and was never reopened to the public, being designated a nature preserve instead.
When the bombs fell in 2077, Great Kills Park was irradiated like most of the region was. The horseshoe crabs that used its beaches as a breeding ground were affected most. During Pre-War times, Great Kills Park was a breeding ground for horseshoe crabs. During the early summer months, females would swarm onto the beaches of the park to lay eggs and males would follow closely behind to fertilize them. In the years after the Great War, the bay was still used as a breeding ground, but for mirelurks instead of horseshoe crabs.
Starting in the early 2200s, the Federal Republic of Libeteria began settling Shaolin. Up until that point, the island had been mostly devoid of life thanks to the presence of the Staten Island Dump/Fresh Kills Landfill. The site was already extremely radioactive and toxic from years and years of dumping trash and waste, but the radioactive fallout from the Great War exacerbated it, making most of central Shaolin so toxic and radioactive that even ghouls became sickened. Limited primarily to the island’s north shore, which was least affected by the radiation from the toxic wasteland on the island’s interior, the Libertarians farmed the land to feed their settlements elsewhere. At least a few of those colonists were not content with simply sitting back and farming a small swath of land. Among those men and women was a pair of men with a sense of adventure: Chris Quill and Toby Livingston. Along with a handful of others, they were able to bribe their way out of the army-protected settlement to explore the ruins of Shaolin.
The massively radioactive wasteland in its center caused them to explore the island’s shores instead of its interior, but it was while exploring the flanks of Shaolin that they discovered Mirelurk Bay. They arrived at the beginning of spring and witnessed the massive convergence of mirelurks. Realizing that the location of the bay would be perfect for trade, Quill, Livingston and about fifty or so mercenaries descended on Mirelurk Bay in 2213 and wiped out the creatures inhabiting the bay. The force left the bay and returned a year later, only to find the creatures had returned to the cove once again. It was at this point that Livingston realized that the mirelurks used the waters and the beach as a breeding ground and that they would return annually. Keeping the creatures out of the bay would require the constant presence of some sort of armed group to do so. Not wanting to give up on such a potentially profitable location, Quill and Livingston elected to create a permanent residence on the horseshoe shaped bay.
That winter, Quill, and Livingston hastily constructed fortifications around the bay and contracted mercenaries to assist them with the mirelurks when the creatures returned. The process became an annual thing as the settlement at Mirelurk Bay grew. With each successive culling, Quill, Livingston and the mercenaries employed by the duo became more and more proficient. As the mirelurk began posing fewer problems, and the nations around the settlement grew, so did the profit margins of Mirelurk Bay, which began operating as a way station for those coming into or leaving New York Bay.
For the most part, the Federal Republic allowed the trading post at Mirelurk Bay to exist in peace. Most of the goods that flowed into the bay made their way to Liberteria, so the leading politicians at the time saw no real reason to interfere with the affairs of the settlement- and thanks to agreements between Quill and Livingston, and individual merchants, and merchant companies, members of the Libertarian elite often received kickbacks.
In 2223, the Liberterian senate passed the Navigation and Commerce Act of 2223. Among other things, the piece of legislation made the transport of chems and slaves into the territory claimed by the Federal Republic illegal. Because a sizable portion of the goods that flowed into their trading post had to do with either chems or slavery, Quill and Livingston defiantly refused to go along with the will of their larger neighbor. Their trading post remained a safe haven for chem dealers, slavers, and other unethical operations. Because much of that riff-raff eventually found its way into the Federal Republic, members of the Merchants Union, Hawk Party, and Liberal Christians Alliance began putting pressure on President Landon Thompson to do something. Thompson, a former member of the Merchants Union, caved to their pressure, sending diplomats to the trading post to work out an agreement that would benefit both sides. After some time negotiating, when it became apparent that Quill and Livingston would refuse to acquiesce to Liberteria’s demands, he responded with force.
In a joint action in late 2226, the federal army and the Maritime Patrol Force stormed into Mirelurk Bay. Few shots were actually fired, as most merchants there at the time were legitimate. Chris Quill and Toby Livingston were both apprehended and placed under arrest. After almost a year of the site being directly controlled by the Maritime Patrol Force, the Libeterian government appointed Luke Williams as the first governor of the Mirelurk Bay colony.
Over the next few years, Williams claimed to have cleaned up the trading post, chasing the smugglers, chem dealers and slavers out. In reality, he allowed all of the illicit activates to continue, turning a blind eye in exchange for kickbacks. His corruption was discovered in a governmental probe, and in 2243, Williams abandoned his post, fleeing to Flushtown for safety. To make sure that a similar scandal would not occur a second time, a young, straight-laced politician by the name of Eric Randall is appointed his successor.
Unlike Williams, Randall has cleaned up the Mirelurk Bay colony. By and large, only legitimate traders are active at the site. In 2248 Eddie Fortuna, a twenty-year veteran of the Maritime Patrol Force founded Water Taxi Traders, a maritime trading outfit that would go on to become one of the more lucrative ones in the New York City area.
In 2275, after almost twenty years of service, Eric Randall retired from service to his nation. After stepping down, he was replaced by Lieutenant Peter Starks, a Maritime Patrol Force officer from Libeteria’s Shooter’s Island. Unlike his predecessor, Starks is not patriotic to the point of blindness to the realities of life. Having grown of the bureaucratic red tape that cost the health or lives of men and women that served under him over the years, Starks turns a blind eye to certain things being smuggled through the site into the federal republic. Though these items generally are benign- excess medical items that would violate Libeterian import quotas, for example- black market dealers are biding their time, waiting to see if Starks can eventually be tempted to allow other, less savory things through his port.
When Mirelurk Bay was an independent settlement governed by Chris Quill and Toby Livingston, there were very few rules. It was close enough to the Federal Republic of Libeteria that it was a useful port for traders going to and from the nation, but given that it fell outside the rules of the republic, was able to cater to anyone. Since being annexed by the federal republic, the shady elements that used to use the port to circumvent Libeterian law have moved on, using other locations to move their products into the nation.
Outside of trade from other locations, the Mirelurk Bay colony is one of the region’s primary suppliers of mirelurk meat, considered a delicacy to some. Though the mirelurk infestation was eradicated years earlier, the creatures still flock to the site to breed every spring. Hunters from all over take part in the annual hunt.
The Mirelurk Bay colony is governed by Lieutenant Peter Starks, a retired military officer from the federal republic’s Shooter’s Island base. Unlike his predecessor, Eric Randall, Starks is a pragmatist. Having deeply been influenced by witnessing the suffering and deaths of the men and women of Libeteria’a armed forces over the years, he is willing to look the other way and allow illegal activity in the colony so long as it benefits others. Starks in nowhere near as corrupt as the colony’s first governor, Luke Williams, as he means well and believes he is helping others, as opposed to lining his pockets and benefiting himself.
Mirelurk Bay is roughly horseshoe shaped. The main fortifications of the site sit on the western side of the bay, while the north and eastern sides are primarily undeveloped salt march and beach. Vessels sailing into the bay enter from the south and dock in the ovular bay in the center of the settlement.
Traders big and small make port in Mirelurk Bay, their goods eventually destined for other sites in the federal republic and beyond. Water Taxi Traders handles the bulk of the transportation of these goods throughout the nation and beyond thanks to no-bid contracts offered when the trading outfit was first established thanks to the veteran status of its founder, Eddie Fortuna.