"You can't kill a Ghost..."
―A saying popular with the denizens of the New York Subway
NY Ghosts
Political Information
Group type:Paramilitary Organization
Leader Title:Commandant
Leader:Lawrence McNair (East),

Henry Miller (West)

Motto:"By Fire and Sword we'll take back our world"
Societal Information
Location(s):New York City, New York (2220 )

South Dakota (New Ghosts, 2281)

Historical Information
Policy Information
Goals:Eradication of nearby Mutant infestation

To rebuild civilization in New York City

Allies:Most inhabitants of the NY Undercity

Trade Caravans


The Cabal The Enclave

The NY Ghosts are a militant group in NYC and the most prominent one from the NY Undercity. Recently, they have fallen on hard times and are attempting to recover.



The NY Ghosts, as they came to be known, came from an unknown land to the north. They had left their lands after an apparent civil war, ending in a faction of 32 men and women, armed with pre-War weapons and armor, heading south in search of a better life. After several weeks of traveling south, they came upon the ruins of New York City, arriving in January, 2220.

Their leader, a man named Samuel Mason, ordered patrols into the city. He and his followers had looted many gas masks, weapons, and armor from abandoned military outposts and bases, and were well-prepared for the wasteland. When they entered the city, they only found radiation along most of the streets and gunshots on others. It was not until Mason's men entered the city subway system did they find human life.

When the bombs fell, hundreds of people had made it into the city metro, and although many were still killed, a few hundred had survived, living in the subway for over 100 years. Many of the survivors had taken refuge in the deepest station in the subway system. Initial attempts to communicate were successful, and the northerners were allowed in.

Seeing the dire state that the people of the NY Undercity were in, with frequent attacks from savage tribals and mutants, Samuel Mason formed the 'NY Ghosts'- an elite platoon of volunteers, all of whom would put their lives on the line to make the area safe again.

Reclamation Years (2221-2229)

After establishing themselves as the protectors of the subway dwellers, the Ghosts began a campaign against the mutants and creatures which had infested many other stations and tunnels in the area. Commandant Mason ordered a 'purification' to take place, his soldiers killed hundreds of enemies with flamethrowers and explosives. By 2226, four nearby subway stations had been secured and fortified, allowing the people to expand their settlements.

Eventually, other, non lethal exits to the system were found, and trade was set up with local wastelanders and traders. This would be the beginning of the New York Trading Company, as word of this new settlement broke out. The Ghosts had been out in the ruins of the once-great city in search of pre-War artifacts. Weapons and ammo were always a problem, so trading with outsiders in return for useful objects found in the ruins seemed a good deal to the Ghosts.

In September, 2229, a squad of Ghosts led by Mason discovered another human-inhabited station. Upon approaching them with friendly greetings, the Ghosts came under attack by the tribals, who were armed with a variety of makeshift spears and some explosives. Although the Ghosts possessed superior firepower, the tribals outnumbered the soldiers three-to-one. As the Ghosts were forced back, Mason was hit through the abdomen with a spear, and died shortly afterwards. The role of Commandant was passed on to his second in command, Malcolm Long, who declared a full scale campaign to wipe out the hostile tribes from the area.

War (2230-2258)

The Ghosts, angered at the death of their founder, rallied together over fifty fighters, and within a week, had destroyed the tribal station. In response, the tribals, who had identified themselves as the Cabal ambushed trade caravans in an attempt to cut off supplies from the Ghosts. It was these few skirmishes that began the long Subway War, which raged through the subway system.

The largest battle occurred in 2555, when the home base of the Cabal was discovered by Ghost scouts. Commandant Long ordered a full scale strike against the Tribals. The subway station was surrounded and all major exits were cut off or destroyed by explosives. At dawn, several strike teams attacked the station, and although they were met with resistance, they broke through and began attacking the main encampment. When the Ghosts came across the elderly and children, they were unsure of what to do. Long, whose hatred for the tribals had not diminished since his friend had been slain, ordered for a purification. Over one hundred of the tribals were slaughtered in a single bloody day of fighting.

NY Ghosts Battle.

Ghost Squads participating in the massacre of the Cabal.

For Commandant Long, however, it was not enough. He ordered the Ghosts to pursue any tribals through the tunnels without halting, so to not allow them to rebuild. Platoons of Ghosts chased the fleeing tribesmen into uncharted tunnels, killing many, but taking casualties due to ambushes and accidents. After several weeks of this, several senior ranking Ghosts voted for the Commandant to step down, seeing that his anger had taken over his judgement. Long went into self-imposed exile not long after, and was never seen again. The council voted Landon Briggs as the new Commandant.

In 2258, the last of the tribes, seeing their destruction, surrendered to the Ghosts, and were immediately set to work as laborers in the subway tunnels. Although a few isolated pockets of resistance remained, the war was officially over.

Peace (2258-2278)

With the last tribes surrendering to the Ghosts, a 20-year era of peace began. There were still some mutant attacks on outlying stations, but for the most part, the Subway seemed secure.The Commandant, Landon Briggs, issued several new orders, and passed a 'Fallback Policy', which meant that if a station were to be overrun by mutants or taken by enemies, then the surrounding tunnels were to be collapsed. This was to ensure the security of the system at large, and though unpopular with the residents of the outer stations, it would be this policy that would save the Ghosts' very existence.

In 2264, with concerns over a massing tide of mutated creatures in the northern tunnels, the Ghosts decided to close off all access by collapsing them. In the weeks that followed, there were no reported attacks on the stations. However, in early 2265, Commandant Briggs, who had become paranoid over possible attacks, ordered several outlying stations to be blocked off, trapping the inhabitants inside. Seeing that Briggs was no longer fit for duty and fearing that the locals would believe they were living under a dictatorship, The senior Ghosts, as they had done to their last Commandant, voted him into exile.

Briggs was last seen heading into the darkness of the unexplored Eastern Tunnels beyond the river, shotgun in hand. Briggs would occasionally return to outlying stations, usually trading mole rat meat or objects from the city in exchange for ammunition. In 2270, loud explosions were heard followed by the partial flooding of what was the 155th Street station, which was abandoned. It is unknown what had happened, and Landon Briggs was never heard from after the incident.

Struggle for Survival and Split (2279)

In late 2279, the Ghosts met the biggest threat to their existence yet. Fleeing north from Washington D.C came two dozen Enclave soldiers, who entered the ruins of New York, immediately attacking the people of an outlying station and killing all but one civilian.

The survivor made it to the Ghost's headquarters and told them what he had seen: Invincible armor-clad men with energy weapons, killing everyone they saw. This was obviously a major problem. Although the Ghosts had been the protectors of the people living in the New York Underground, they had mainly relied on superior firepower and their advanced training to ensure victory. After a long meeting, the Council of Ghosts, led by Commandant Emily Haverson, decided to send several teams to combat this new threat. Each of these teams would strike before the Enclave knew what had hit them, wiping them out quickly by blowing up the station they had taken.

This pre-emptive strike would have worked, had it not been for a secondary, larger attack from the northern tunnels. It was a vast army of mutated creatures led by the Cabal. The Cabal had rebuilt itself a distance away from the city, out of the reach of the Ghosts, and had begun to create an army of sorts, with the intent of overrunning the metro-dwellers and the Ghosts, who had been slaughtering their kind since they had first arrived.

As the teams set out, the mutants overran several outer stations, butchering the inhabitants. By the time the Ghosts had rallied their forces and recalled their demolition teams, the mutants had spilled into the 'Inner Circle' of heavily defended stations. The Ghosts fought to stem the tide for three days, losing many people as they did so. Commandant Haverson ordered all those who could not fight to be evacuated above ground in the night, so their darkness-accustomed eyes were not blinded, and for the Ghosts to purify any station as soon as they were shepherded above into a Ghost Safe House.

Commandant Haverson led a platoon of Ghosts herself in a desperate battle to hold the final station before Ghost HQ. It was during this battle that the Cabal intervened, fighting alongside their mutant servants. Haverson was killed during the battle, being struck by poisoned tribal spear. Eventually, the invaders were driven off when reinforcements from Ghost HQ arrived with a flamethrower. There were only two survivors from Haverson's platoon: Henry Miller and Lawrence McNair.

With the death of their Commandant, the Council of Ghosts would usually take time voting for a new leader. However, with four out of the twelve Council members dead, and both the Cabal and Enclave to worry about, they had no time. So, McNair and Miller took charge for a plan that would save the Ghosts from destruction. They would wire Ghost HQ with explosives, and lead the two enemy forces down the tunnels, and as they fought each other, the Ghosts would detonate the entire station, having evacuated in mere minutes before. This plan was met with much opposition, especially from the older Ghosts. It had been the station they had first arrived in 59 years beforehand.

The two leaders went ahead with the plan regardless, saying that they could stay and die, but true Ghosts would always do anything so survive. Eventually, the Enclave forces blew through the defenses of the station and invaded. As they did, the Cabal led their mutants in through the opposite side. The Ghosts took up positions at the station entrance topside and as the two factions and began fighting each other, Miller and McNair gave the order. The entire station was blown to kingdom come, killing or burying the Enclave, the Cabal, and many mutants. The Ghosts had lived to fight another day.

Following what became known as the Second Subway War, the Ghosts were stuck on what to do next. There were barely 200 people left alive, and most of the Council had been killed. In the end, a majority of Ghosts, led by McNair wished to rebuild at a new station, re-establish trade with nearby settlements and regain their dominance over New York.

Some Ghosts however, led by the ambitious Henry Miller, thought that the Ghosts had to move on to a new land, as Samuel Mason had done so many years before. McNair, who had become the defacto leader of the Ghosts, denied his request, stating that they had an obligation to protect the people, and that this was their home. With several arguments beginning to escalate into violence, Miller ordered his people to leave with him, declaring themselves the 'New Ghosts'.

Current Status (2279-)

McNair was finally voted Commandant, and began a project to turn several nearby stations into fortresses, so that there would never be another incident again. McNair also came into an agreement with local caravans, assigning them guards in exchange for much needed materials. In the 2280s, the NY Ghosts have only regained a fraction of their former power in the NY Undercity. They remain vigilant for any further attacks by mutants, and although there are still some, without the leadership of the Cabal, who were all killed, they became disorganized, many fleeing to stations far out of the Ghost's reach.

The New Ghosts, led by Henry Miller, found themselves in South Dakota by 2281. The Ghosts set up a township there, Mason, and after a few minor incidents with local tribals, set themselves up, like they had in New York many years before, as protectors of the people. They also opened up trade routes going both east and west. The New Ghosts, out of a form of rivalry and anger at those who stayed behind, have cut communications with McNair's forces back east, becoming reasonably self-sufficient but subservient to local forces.

Views and Politics

The Ghosts are proud of being democratic. Every major decision is made by a council of twelve leading Ghosts. These are:

  • The Commandant
  • Deputy Commandant
  • The Librarian (Archivist, chronicles every event and mission the Ghosts undertake)
  • The Shadow (Chief Scout)
  • Chief of Intelligence
  • Chief of Trade
  • Six Ghost Elders (usually 40+ years old)

In the event of a major crisis such as the Enclave/Cabal attack of 2279, the Commandant or his/her subordinate may override council rules for the good of the Ghosts as a whole. Despite being a democratic society, the Ghosts have many rules in place for protection. Some of these rules are seen as being too restrictive, leading for some to believe that the Ghosts were fascists. However, the Ghosts saw themselves as the saviors and protectors of their people.

The Ghosts are, however, slightly less tolerant of those whom they see as mutants. Although Ghouls do not fall under this category, they are usually discriminated against by some. In the 'Inner Ring' of stations that make up the Ghosts centre of power and commerce, Ghouls are very rarely seen, mainly made to trade with outer stations or surface outposts. There have been several incidents with the large Ghoul community in the NY Undercity, mainly due to the prejudice with which the Ghouls are treated by many Ghost soldiers.

Numbers and Recruitment

The Ghosts, though well trained and equipped compared to some groups in the Wasteland, have always suffered from low numbers due to their harsh training methods and selection process.

When the first generation of Ghosts, their numbers whittled down by constant warfare, age, and disease, decided to recruit a second generation, they were forced to turn to the subway dwellers of New York City for soldiers, as well as their own children. These were quickly trained up to defend the stations from tribal and mutant attacks. The Second and Third Generation of Ghosts fought during the War against the Cabal, sustaining moderate casualties, though well over 300 tribals were killed throughout, a third of that number during a single day of fighting in their home base.

In the 20 years of peace that followed the war, The Ghost's numbers swelled; recruits from the subway dwellers, and from wastelanders increased their power, and the large weapons stockpile discovered in 2255 bolstered their attacking force. The Ghost's numbers at this time numbered several hundred, nearly half of the 'peaceful' population of the Ghost-controlled NY Undercity.

Their weapons and training were put to the test in 2279, when they were hit by a two-pronged attack by Enclave soldiers and the Cabal, who had regained strength over the years. Despite fighting bravely, most of the Ghosts were killed by the onslaught, including the Commandant, Emily Haverson. It was after this, and the schism that led to the 'New Ghosts' leaving the city that forced the Ghosts to rethink their strategy and recruitment process.

The Ghosts, as of 2281, ensure that all potential candidates are reasonably fit and healthy, preferably with no mutations. They are put into a two-month training course, in which they either emerge as soldiers, fit to go on patrol, or would break and be assigned to food detail, or some other menial chore. As a result of their near-destruction, the Ghosts as an organisation have decreased sharply in numbers, but are generally better trained and have a higher survival rate.

Equipment and Technology

Prior to their near-annihilation by Enclave forces in 2279, the Ghosts possessed the most advanced technology in the ruins of New York City. When Samuel Mason led his expedition into the city in 2220, they possessed sturdy combat armor, gas masks, and a variety of weapons, including missile launchers and silenced sniper rifles. Mason's followers had also brought with them a large quantity of medical supplies; just what the dwellers of the subway system needed most. It was for these reasons that they were quickly able to assert themselves as the dominant force in the area.

In the early months of their settling, the Ghosts began excursions to find more supplies and ammunition in the city. Protected by their gas masks against radiation, they were able to recover a vast trove of medical supplies from a nearby hospital. Guns were surprisingly hard to find in the city, so Ghosts were expected to look after their own.


In the early years, Ghosts wore a diverse array of clothing and armour.

By the 2250s, the Ghosts, now well into their long war with the Cabal, were suffering from a lack of new equipment. Strikes by the large tribe were common, and stealing weapons from the deceased had become the norm. Despite their superior training and technology, the Ghosts were not then cut out for a war of attrition. With supplies of working weapons for Ghosts dwindling, platoons were sent out in search of a source; a factory, police station or military base that could be used to restock the Ghosts.

A stroke of luck came in early 2255 when a squad, retreating from a tribal attack into cover, discovered an untouched armoury within a radiation pocket that covered parts of the city. A large stockpile of weapons and combat armor, initially to be used by the National Guard before the war, was brought back to Ghost HQ. It was in that year that the Ghosts delivered their strike on the home station of the Cabal, that the tide of the war, turned. It was this influx of weapons and equipment that changed the Ghosts from a militia into an army.

By 2270, the Ghosts, now numbering roughly 400 in total, had become organized into an effective military fighting force. They were feared and respected, symbolized by their black combat armor and gas masks. All Ghosts were equipped with a basic R91 assault rifle, usually silenced, along with a combat knife and several grenades. Many specialist squads were also created around this time, for close combat, demolitions and the like.


The Commandant is the undisputed leader of the Ghosts, and is in charge of all operations. In particularly dire circumstances, the Commandant can overrule a decision made by the Council except his/her impeachment. If the Commandant is seen as being abusive of his/her power, the Council has the authority to vote for the Commandant's exile.

Eastern Ghosts

  • Samuel Mason (2220-2229) Killed in Battle.
  • Malcolm Long (2229-2255) Exiled.
  • Landon Briggs (2255-2265) Exiled.
  • Emily Haverson (2265-2279) Killed in Battle.
  • Lawrence McNair (2279 Onwards)

Western 'New' Ghosts

Eastern Commonwealth