- "America’s Graveyard"
- ―A sign that hung at Motor Town’s entrance in its early days
|Notable Individuals:||Raven, Gloria Williams, Jaime McDonally|
|Notable events:||The Battle of Motor Town (2162), The Fight against Slavery, The Revolutionary War|
Because Detroit was a large city, it was not hard for the first settlers of Motor Town to make walls of car wrecks around the buildings that make up the town. This earned the settlement the name of ‘Motor Town’. Motor Town is a very secure settlement, with only one way in or one way out: the front gate. Also, Motor Town is one of the main hubs of the Detroit Wasteland, most centered on traffic north.
Motor Town’s history begins with the origins of its first settlers: the survivors of Selfridge Air Force Base. Fleeing the base before the Great War due to advanced warning and its obvious status as a target, the airmen made their way south to hide in nearby bunkers where they had practiced drills in previous years. The airmen stayed in the bunkers for about a year until the first of them emerged after one of the bunkers' supplies ran out. These airmen, desperate and instantly met with hostility on the surface, fell into despair with many of them becoming some of the earliest of Detroit's raiders.
The other group of airmen, led by the formidable Captain John Walker, left early on their own terms with excess supplies. This second group of airmen were driven further into Detroit soon after they emerged by feral ghouls. The airmen, led by Captain Walker, eventually took refuge at an impound lot in the East Side of Detroit. There, the airmen prepared for a last stand against the attacking feral ghouls. The ferals came in waves until they were finally all slain, at a high cost to Captain Walker and his men. By the time all the feral ghouls were dead, only eleven airmen including Captain Walker were alive.
After defeating the feral ghouls, the airmen decided to settle down where they were in the ruins of Detroit, since the area was not radioactive as Downtown Detroit and full of pre-War supplies. There were some relatively undamaged buildings for the airmen to live in. Captain Walker's iron will and the determination of the airmen carried the small unnamed settlement through the harsh early years of its existence. They were forced to repulse numerous attacks by feral ghouls from Downtown Detroit and raiders who came from the airmen who emerged from the bunkers first. The frequent attacks were what motivated Captain Walker to suggest that they make walls of car wrecks around the buildings that made up the little settlement. That proved to be a hard but triumphant project over a couple of years, as the car walls provided the town with some much-needed security. In those days, there was more than one entrance to Motor Town. Traders and wanderers began to come to settlement starting around 2085 and when they asked the airmen told them they were in Motor Town.
John Walker became the leader of the settlement and became known as 'the Big Man' in the wasteland as him and his airmen became known as tough fighters. Motor Town was a small bulwark against the chaos of the wasteland, and the airmen willingly took in many refugees from the wasteland, especially women since none of the original airmen were female. Motor Town experienced some major growth in 2090 when refugees from another destroyed settlement came to its gates with a gang of raiders hot on their heels. The airmen quickly shepherded the refugees inside while fending off the raiders. This influx of wasteland doubled Motor Town's previous population, bringing it to about fifty. As time went on, tensions rose between the original airmen's new families and the former refugees turned scavengers within Motor Town. These tensions carried on into the next generation.
However, Motor Town's growth mostly stemmed there as the populace focused less on taking survivors and more surviving with what they had. That was mostly accomplished through scavenging and trade, as the land in and around Motor Town was not exactly the most fit to farm (though some still did). Motor Town had stagnant growth in the early 2100s as the original airmen of the town died (Captain Walker in 2102), and scavengers took leadership over the town. Captain Walker, still beloved by most of the town, was given a plaque in his honor. The families of the airmen, mostly traders, tried to convince the scavengers to elect a town government but were harshly rebuked, as the scavengers preferred the more anarchic state of the settlement to the potential threat of taxes and bureaucracy. That led to problems down the road.
Motor Town continued to stagnate for almost all of the 2100s as scavengers used the town more as base and emphasized its role as a trade hub less. The newer settlement Park Lane soon came to dwarf Motor Town both in population and importance. That was because of how territorial the scavengers were and suspicious of outsiders, ironic since their ancestors were refugees who were freely allowed into Motor Town on good faith. The most reactionary of these scavengers was a rough individual named Hawke who first rose to prominence in the 2140s. He was the head of a large family of scavengers who were very successful and in that time served as a sort of leader for Motor Town like Captain Walker had previously. Hawke's role as leader of the scavengers was taken in response to more humans returning to the Detroit area, using the improving conditions as an opportunity to transition from nomadic scavengers into something more permanent. Hawke's reactionary and hostile attitude towards the newcomers was supported by many of the scavengers in Motor City. This was mostly seen when Hawke established the first iteration of Motor's Town's militia and, to the traders displeasure, blocked up all the entrances except for one gate. The traders managed to negotiate down Hawke by making the front gate be right beside the Marketplace. Hawke later upped the ante by installing a platform of sheet metal that is chained into a vertical position where the front gate used to be, acting as a sort of drawbridge and constructing a gatehouse to help in defense. The traders saw this as a ridiculous mistake on Hawke's part. Hawke died soon after the Gatehouse was finished in 2158. The hostility towards outside continued to curb major population growth.
Hawke seemed vindicated when the raider warlord Osiris, a cyborg and radical transhumanist, rose to power on the East Side of Detroit in the 2160s and began encroaching on Motor Town. Osiris's raiders attacked caravans increasingly close outside Motor Town until they were blasting away traders and their brahmin right outside the settlement's walls. This worried all of Motor Town, and this worry only became worse as raiders scouts began to scope out the town within eyesight of the residents. The city militia began exchanging potshots with Osiris's raiders in late 2162 as the raiders began attacking Motor's Town's scavengers. A siege mentality soon took hold in Motor Town leading up to the climactic Battle of Motor Town.
Osiris triggered the battle in 2162 when he led what was practically an army of raiders to surround Motor Town. After a day or so of exchanging fire with the city militia in the heavily armored Gatehouse and on the walls, Osiris's spies detonated a mini nuke at a more remote part of Motor Town's wall of cars and through coordination with radios his raiders surged in the gap. Motor Town's milita was overwhelmed by the pure number of raiders and soon laid down their arms, even the most hardscrabble scavengers. In the end, Hawke's defenses were little use in opposition to the ingenuity of raiders.
Osiris set himself as Motor Town's new leader, something of technological god king. His raider army became the town's upper class as the original inhabitants were made into lower class citizens in their own settlement. The city militia was dissolved, replaced by Osiris's raiders. Osiris arrogantly told the residents that they lucky enough that he let them live. New rules were put in place as Osiris took power. Cyborg raiders were given preferential treatment under Osiris's transhumanist principles over other raiders. Taxes, called tribute by Osiris, made their first and only appearance in Motor's Town's history on things such as scavenging, farming, and trade. Also, mandatory schooling was put in place for children to 'learn' about things such as arithmetic and transhumanism. Life became harder, but Motor Town was still livable.
The residents of Motor Town accepted their town's role as the capital of Osiris's short-lived raider empire with stiff necks but accepted it nonetheless. The repair shop A Motor's Home emerged in 2162 to service the raider's equipment and the bar The Dry Place was created in 2163 specifically to serve raiders alcohol with 'townies' not being allowed in. Still, the raiders favored the traders over the more resentful scavengers.
Osiris continued his attempted conquest of the Detroit Wasteland after taking over Motor Town. However, Osiris’s conquests came to an abrupt and violent end in early 2164 when he was impaled on the hood of the car of another raider during a battle in Downtown Detroit. His raider army dissolved in turn. However, elements of the raiders in Motor Town managed to hold onto their ill-begotten gains for another generation. They took away most of the tribute system and transhumanist elements of education but remained on top of Motor Town’s social circles due to their superior firepower.
As the ex-raiders stayed in power, the scavengers and traders continued their lives while keeping their heads down. Still, due to the ex-raiders favored money over security, the traders slowly gained in power and influence. This changed Motor Town over the next couple of decades as the ex-raiders’ power waned and the ‘townies’ gained in influence. This came to a head in 2183 when there was a short and bloodless revolution against Motor Town’s hierarchy. At that time, the residents of Motor Town finally repaired the gap in the town’s walls left by Osiris’s mini nuke.
That was when the stagnation that had been holding back Motor Town’s growth began to finally reverse. The segregation between the ex-raiders and ‘townies’ came down, and the traders finally established a minimalist town government for the first time in 2190. This was through establishing a city council, electing a sheriff, abolishing tribute system, and restored the city militia. The scavengers in Motor Town, led by Hawke's oldest son Ben, managed to argue down the traders' hope for actual taxes and a mayor at the same time. However, much of the ex-raiders in Motor Town still held on to their property while obliquely handing power over to the 'townies'. Motor Town was on the up and up again with a balance of security and openness to trade in the next couple of decades.
This growth came as more humans came into the Detroit Wasteland, bringing many of their problems with them. Nevertheless, the growth that new people brought was a net positive for Motor Town even if they took some less than desirable elements with them (that's not to say many people in town were already 'undesirable' such as the ex-raiders and their descendants). The uneasy balance between the traders, scavengers, and 'Ozzies' (a euphemism for the ex-raiders of Osiris and their descendants) continued into the 2200s with the traders and Ozzies on top and the scavengers mostly on the bottom. In the late 2100s and the early 2200s, the population of Motor Town remained in the low hundreds but increased slowly at a steady pace. Around this time in 2257, Gloria Williams, the daughter of a trader, finally acquired The Dry Place for herself after working there for eight years as a barkeep. Motor Town was open to caravaners on the East Side of the Detroit Wasteland while Park Lane remained the main hub for trade in the region. The growth brought from trade was stemmed somewhat in the mid 2200s with the growth of slavers in the area, specifically Constantine Tombs in Cole Ayo. These slavers, a cold and brutal variety, mostly targeted scavengers and drifters. More scavengers from Motor Town were captured by slavers led to the city council sending their militia out to protect their interests. This led to an escalating level of clashes in the 2260s and 2270s between Motor Town's militia and the slavers. This conflict and the continued rise of the Army of Revolution discouraged many newcomers and entrepreneurs from settling down in Motor Town.
Things began to really pick up again upon the arrival of three individuals in 2270: Marshall Steele, Jesse Lot, and Raven. Marshall Steele was a super mutant who was originally a part of Gammorin's Army but had lived on his own in the Detroit Wasteland for almost the last century. He only decided to come to Motor Town because a prolonged fight with the slavers at Cole Ayo had wrecked his previous home. Jesse Lot was a seemingly inconspicuous trader who in actuality was a spy working for the Army of Revolution. Raven turned out to be the most important visitor to come to Motor Town in 2270, as time would tell. Raven came from a Vault out west and had great success in big game hunting (and less reputable ventures). After some years moving further east, Raven finally decided it was time to settle down. Raven got ran out of Omaha, Cedar Rapids, and Chicago before he finally arrived in Detroit, Motor Town specifically.
Raven's arrival had the most immediate effect on Motor Town. Still having an incredibly large amount of money, Raven bought a large abandoned building in 2272 and fixed it up quickly to become Club Colosseum, a second bar that also dabbled in prostitution and chems. Though Raven's enterprises were not illegal, many in town still looked down on him. Raven nonetheless had great success with his ventures in Motor Town. In hardly any time at all, he was the richest man in town. At the same time, Marshall Steele was haplessly searching for a job of his own. He got a few short jobs in town and endeared himself to many due to his romantic ideals and his hardworking attitude. Eventually, Steele offered to serve as Motor Town's sheriff first in 2274 and again in 2275, a position that had stood empty for the last twelve years by 2274. The city council had its reservations about the rather dim super mutant enforcing the law, with people such as Raven and Hawke's granddaughter Brie, the owner of A Motor's Home, taking issue with Steele becoming sheriff. They feared the super mutant would dispense law in a manner that would harm their businesses. The city council still decided to make Steele Motor Town's sheriff and give him legitimacy to mete out the law. This was down with the provision that the city militia would monitor Steele's activities. Steele would have a slightly unrealistic view of 'the law' but would do a surprisingly good job at being sheriff. The sheriff had a big coup when he brought the hammer down on a slaver spy ring in 2276.
In the meantime, Raven learned how to work with Steele, and business continued to boom. He eventually decided to buy out his competition, The Dry Place, to get some more profit in 2278. However, it was not an aggressive takeover, and Raven gave a generous offer to Gloria Williams, offering her a virtual hoard of caps and the continued position of barkeep. Gloria caved to Raven's request to sell but remained the barkeep at The Dry Place, even if it was not owned by her officially. Motor Town flourished as a new stable center of commerce under the careful eyes of the city council, Raven, and Sheriff Steele.
In the next few years, the war between the slavers of Cole Ayo and the city militia of Motor Town would escalate even as the conditions in the settlement seemingly improved. Predatory raiders also entered the conflict in 2280 to take advantage of weakness on both sides. The war against the slavers fostered significant abolitionist sentiment in Motor Town that remains to this day.
When the Revolutionary War began in 2284, Motor Town narrowly avoided being attacked by the Army of Revolution due to being far enough south. However, the trader Jesse Lot helped the Army. Due to operating quite openly, Jesse Lot was caught by Sheriff Steele and the mercenary Maurice. Due to Maurice helping him, Steele turned Jesse over to Maurice who then turned her in for a bounty in Park Lane. Motor Town worried about the Army of Revolution's advance but was happy to see the group's offensive crumble in the face of strong opposition.
Cole Ayo fell to the control of the former slaves while the slavers being driven to take refuge in a smaller camp. The city militia tried to take advantage of this to serve a killing blow to Constantine Tombs and his evil band in 2285. A patrol had already discovered the camp and freed a couple of slaves, including Jaime McDonally. The attack on the slaver camp by Motor Town's militia in the winter of 2285 was a tactical draw, as the slavers took significant casualties but managed to force the militia to withdraw back to Motor Town. After that, the fight against the slavers to a backseat to more domestic concerns.
The wake of the Revolutionary War has brought some new developments to Motor Town, such as the founding of Selfridge Company to continue the war against the slavers and the creation of Hal's Pawn and Gun by Hal. In 2287, Motor Town is experiencing new growth as it has become more safe, being far enough away from the Army of Revolution and mostly secure from the prior threat of slavers (for the most part). Raven still has Motor Town under his thumb, and no one has yet contested his dominion over the settlement, at least in a general sense.
The population of Motor Town was in the low hundreds for the first century or so its existence due to stagnant growth. The dominion of traders and Raven in particular led to Motor Town's population growth with the populace finally topping one thousand in 2277 (counted by Marshall Steele's surprisingly accurate census). Since then, the population has continued to grow steadily.
Motor Town's population is overwhelmingly human with only a few mutants present such as some ghouls, a few unique mutations, and a sole super mutant. However, these mutants are very much accepted within the community, armoring Motor Town against the rhetoric of the Army of the Revolution. Robots, on the other hand, are not given any rights within Motor Town due to the memory of the cyborg raider Osiris. There are few robots in Motor Town though, so this is not much of a problem.
The city council of Motor Town takes a rather hands-off approach to government because of past checks and balances. There is no mayor as agreed upon by Motor Town's populace. The sheriff operates under the jurisdiction of the city council. Sheriff Steele tries to follow the rules but cannot always do so. Motor Town's people approve of their government, as it has finally found the balance between security and openness after years of difficulties.
Motor Town overall has a culture that emphasizes hard work and freedom, born from years of fighting for its existence in the harsh wasteland. However, the population of Motor Town can be roughly separated into three distinct groups: traders, scavengers, and Ozzies. Traders are the more open, business-oriented of Motor Town's population with their ranks consisting of both newcomers and longtime residents. They make up the majority of Motor Town's population. Scavengers are typically an older, more cautionary-minded people who favor strong security over openness. The scavengers scavenge, as the term would suggest, and they do not move on like the traders too. The Ozzies, the descendants of raiders who once ruled the settlement through force, are a sort of upper class in Motor Town, though they rarely interfere with internal politics anymore. They prefer to keep a low profile, as they are easily demonized by the rest of the population in Motor Town for their ancestors' actions. Nonetheless, they have kept their property and power so far and indeed to keep it for as long as possible.
The city militia, currently led by Hal, protects Motor Town from most outside threats while Sheriff Steele deals with all but the most difficult domestic threats. Many people in Motor Town are a part of the city militia as they see it as something akin to a 'civic duty'. Sometimes the city militia engages in offensive actions, such as against slavers in 2285, but it is rare. Due to the lack of taxation in Motor City, the militia's supplies are quite limited. The Selfridge Company, led by Jaime McDonally, also assists in defending Motor Town.
Sheriff Steele is Motor Town's lone purveyor of law currently, though he occasionally deputizes people on an as-needed basis. He has so far been effective in doling out the law, though he is not immune to making mistakes.
Motor Town has healthy relations with most communities within the Detroit Wasteland because of caravans and trade. This particularly extends to Park Lane and Chryslus Castle, the two largest settlements in the area (though Chryslus Castle still has a less than peachy view of Motor Town). Smaller settlements like Arsetown are traded with but seen as less than savory. They like Radio Free Detroit as more for its entertainment value and less for its ideology. On the other hand, Motor Town has an overwhelmingly hostile view of the Army of Revolution, the super mutants of Zug Island, slavers, and raiders. The people of Motor Town still do not take the threat the Army of Revolution poses as seriously as they should since they have not directly encountered the group. Their views of mercenary groups such as the Black Skull Company varies wildly among the population.
Regardless of their relations with other settlements though, Motor Town’s location in the northeast part of the Detroit Wasteland isolates it from the rest. This serves as both a blessing and a curse in that Motor Town is less talked and traveled to by many in the Detroit Wasteland but also less central to the ongoing wars between the various large groups such as the Army of Revolution and Black Skull Company. That means life remains hard but not hellish.
Points of Interest
The Gatehouse/The Drawbridge
The front gate of Motor Town, the sole way in and out of the settlement, was constructed in 2158 for the express purpose of heightened security. The Gatehouse is a heavily armored structure which overlooks the entrance and controls the Drawbridge. When attacked from the outside, the city militia can fire down on their attackers from the Gatehouse with relative impunity. The Drawbridge, a platform of sheet metal that is chained into a vertical position, is wide enough to let in brahmin carts and can be barred.
Club Colosseum is a seeming contradiction, being both the more high-end and seedy bar in Motor Town. The bar is directly owned by Raven, and he sees it as his 'baby'. A Western theme is prevalent throughout Club Colosseum with many of Raven's kills being mounted throughout the building. The business employs a very large number of people in Motor Town, the largest besides trading and scavenging. It contains a bar, a brothel, and a lounge with a hookah.
The Dry Place
The older and more conventional bar in town, The Dry Place mostly services the more 'respectable' people of Motor Town society. It is also owned by Raven but is kept up by the old barkeep, Gloria Williams. The Dry Place gets by, as it always has.
The Marketplace is one of the oldest features of Motor Town, with trade between residents and outsiders being a constant feature of the settlement. It is adjacent to front gate, as was negotiated by traders earlier in Motor Town's history. The lifeblood of Motor Town flows through the Marketplace, as does its goods.
Hal's Pawn and Gun Shop
Unlike what its name may suggest, Hal's Pawn and Gun does much more than pawn and sell guns. Hal, a recent arrival to Motor Town, sells all kinds of goods from his store though firearms are his staple still. His prime position near to the front gate has led to Hal making quite a tidy profit from his ventures, making him the second richest man in Motor Town in record time, faster than even Raven. That has led Raven to make overtures to buy Hal’s Pawn and Gun, but Hal has resisted those efforts so far.
A Motor's Home
A Motor's Home was a repair shop created to service the equipment of raiders after its conquest by Osiris. After the raiders fell from power, the mechanics of A Motor's Home would come to service all so as to stay in business. The shop sometimes even repairs automobiles brought in from the outside. Currently, A Motor's Home is owned by Brie, a harsh taskmaster.
Sheriff Marshall Steele
- "End of the line, creep."
- ―Marshall Steele
The super mutant sheriff of Motor Town, Marshall Steele has served as the watchful, if a little dim, eye of the law for the last decade or so. Once a member of the Master's Army and then Gammorrin's Army, Steele has now formed his own rather romantic view of the world and law. This is what led to Steele becoming sheriff of Motor Town. He carries out his profession eagerly, if not always competently, from his shack on the margins of town. Pretty much the entire settlement adores Steele, as he is a simple kind individual.
- "As long as it’s good for business, it should be good for Motor Town and for me. This town is my life, after all."
Raven, a vault dweller and big game hunter from out West, is the de-facto ruler of Motor Town and the owner of both the lucrative Club Colosseum and the humble bar The Dry Place. Raven's origins are vague, with the only certainty being that he came from a Vault on the western side of the Northern American continent. After emerging from his vault, Raven became a big game hunter and an entrepreneur across the American West, bringing him great wealth along the way. This eventually led to him coming to Motor Town and settling down. Since his arrival, Raven has come to rule Motor Town in an unofficial function through economic means. He is mostly benevolent in his rule but is willing to get his hands dirty for some extra money on occasion. This has led to people in Motor Town having mixed opinions of Raven.
- "As if I needed more trouble, get out of my bar you drunken apes!"
- ―Gloria Williams
Gloria Williams is the venerable barkeep of The Dry Place and an upstanding member of the community in Motor Town. She has been a fixture of The Dry Place since 2249. Gloria used to own The Dry Place but has since sold it to Raven. She still works as barkeep though and listens to people's woes. Luckily, Gloria's longtime marriage as kept her quite lacking in woe.
- "Damn Yankees."
- ―Jaime McDonally
A Canadian ghoul with a storied history, Jaime McDonally is the leader of Selfridge Company and a recent arrival in Motor Town. Coming to Motor Town after the Revolutionary War, Jaime made himself useful in whatever way he could. That translated into founding Selfridge Company, a mixed vigilante-mercenary group focused on taking down slaving in the Detroit Wasteland and assisting in the defense of Motor Town. Jaime is trying to become a better man and is doing a good job so far.
- "I’m on watch again? Shit, I wanted to listen to Twilliger tonight..."
Hal is the brother of more notorious Larry and the proprietor of Hal’s Pawn and Gun, which does quite a lot more than pawn and sell guns. He is also the unofficial, if reluctant, leader of Motor Town’s city militia. Hal struggles to get out from under the shadow of his more famous (or perhaps notorious) brother Larry. He has tried to improve his position by ingratiating himself with the Ozzies in Motor Town through marriage.
- "You pay, I’ll do it. Only two caveats: no women or children involved."
A inflexible mercenary with a mysterious past, Maurice does not let much get past his distinct glasses. Maurice is from somewhere around Chicago and came to Motor Town in 2280. Since then, he has undertaken several jobs and bounties all around the Detroit Wasteland but has always come back to his place in Motor Town in the end. Maurice hangs around Club Colosseum often to find or take on new job offers.
- "Freedom for all my friend! Got something for me to fix up?"
- ―Carlos Vasquez
Carlos Vasquez is Motor Town’s resident every-man, being the lead mechanic at A Motor’s Home, a member of Selfridge Company, and a member of Motor Town’s city militia. Carlos has had seventeen different jobs since he was twelve years old. He was taken under Jaime McDonally's wing after the ghoul's arrival and idolizes him.
- "Hey handsome, want some attention?"
- ―Elisa Night
A ‘working girl’ at Club Colosseum, Elisa Night has ambition and is much more intelligent than she lets on. Eliza is the member of an Ozzie family and was convinced by Raven to become part of his brothel. However, Elisa has higher aspirations than staying a simple whore, and she is saving her money to eventually leave Motor Town for a place where she can start over.
- "Let me guess, you broke your SMG again? Give it here, let’s see what I can do..."
Spike is a teenage girl who is a mechanic in A Motor’s Home, a successful scavenger, and a mild telepath. The orphaned daughter of scavengers killed by slavers, Spike was raised by her grandfather and is a very hardworking person. Her latent telepathic abilities are unknown to even her, but if discovered, she could be the interest of many groups within the Detroit Wasteland.
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