|Location:||Concrete Jungle, New York|
|Factions:||Penn's Council, NY Ghosts, The Trailblazers|
|Notable events:||Second Subway War|
Previously one of the busiest subway stations in Pre-War New York, Penn Sanctuary is a city in the ruins of midtown Manhattan. Known as 'The Light at the End of the Tunnel' by many, the city is a safe haven for travelers passing through the Concrete Jungle.
Long before nuclear fusion cells powered even the most minor of item, rail power reigned supreme in the United States of America. Railroads, such as the ones the Railroad Nomads have been rehabilitating, connected the country, linking east coast to west coast. In New York, one of the main terminals was Pennsylvania Station, named after the Pennsylvania Railroad. At its peak, more than 100 million passengers traveled through Penn Station each year.
In the boom years after World War II, rail use declined drastically, as new infrastructure and technological innovations put more of an emphasis the importance of planes and automobiles. Though it remained an important transportation hub- at times, it could serve upwards of 600,000 people a day, traveling on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and MTA rail lines - it became a political afterthought. The station was remodeled to maximize commercial property rights above ground, and the complex became a dank, dirty, grimy catacomb- a far cry from being the crown jewel of rail transport that it once was. The discovery and implementation of nuclear power in society did little to put a renewed importance in the train station. It never sank into wholesale disregard or disrepair, but it never regained its luster from the glory days of steam power in the early 1900s.
In 2077, New York was bombarded by nuclear warheads, owing to its status as economic and cultural capital of the United States. While local, state, and federal governments had numerous fallout shelters installed all over the city, no amount of locations would be able to hold even a fraction of the ten million plus residents of the city. With shelters full, many Manhattan residents decided that descending into the subway tunnels under the island would be their best hope of survival. At roughly eight acres- three levels spread over two city blocks- thousands saw Penn Station as their best hope for survival.
Millions died that day, but those that fled to Penn Station were not among them. as their location beneath Manhattan shielded them from the brunt of the bombing. Soon after the bombs stopped falling and the Great War ended, survivors from above-ground soon began trickling in. The initial group of survivors at Penn Station did their best to take in their fellow New Yorkers, but as these men and women from above-ground began becoming more desperate and more violent, the men and women of Penn Station changed how they interacted with these people. The survivors did their best to make their home inaccessable from above-ground, boarding up tunnels and entrances. The station became their sanctuary, and the survivors began referring to it as such- Penn Sanctuary.
Over the next few decades, the men and women of Penn Sanctuary work organize into the city that the settlement currently is. Penn’s Council was established, and the infrastructure needed to keep the city going was put into place.
Despite a stirct isolationist stance, the men and women of Penn Sanctuary did have limited interactions with the rest of the Post-War world. Men and women regularly left the settlement and ventured into the New York City subway system to salvage junk, sometimes encountering other survivors. When they determined that it was safe enough to explore the surface, men and women went above ground to assess the state of the world, often encountering survivors. In 2213, Penn’s Council voted to officially end the isolation that the city had existed in for the better part of a century. In 2215, the city was opened up officially to outsiders for the first time ever.
Penn Sanctuary soon found itself experiencing an economic boom and a population growth. The opening of the city made travel through the ruins of Manhattan much simpler, as the subway tunnels near Penn Sanctuary were much safer than the alternate routes that traders and explorers had previously taken, such as overland routes through the Concrete Jungle or underland routes through tunnels infested with ghouls, radigators, underlyers, and other deadly creatures.
One of the biggest events to take place in the city during this time was the formation of the Pathfinder Society. Originally concieved as a small-time operation to better map the Pre-War subway lines in Manhattan in 2225, the group eventually evolved into what it is now, a countrywide operation wielding a great deal of political power.
Since 2280, Penn Sanctuary has been protected by the NY Ghosts. Years earlier, the two groups had signed an accord, that members of the paramilitary organization would always be welcome in the city and that, if need be, could be called south to clear nearby tunnels when needed. When the NY Ghosts had their headquarters destroyed during the Second Subway War, those that survived fled to Penn Sanctuary. Penn’s Council and Commandant Lawrence McNair brokered a new agreement, giving the Ghosts a permanent home in the city in exchange for their contributing to its protection.
Despite its location underground, Penn Sanctuary is surprisingly self-sufficient. Over the years, due to the political climate above ground, the people of Penn’s Sanctuary have had to rely on only themselves to meet their basic needs. Fruits and vegetables are grown on the bottom-most level of the station, using advanced hydroponics technology. Scrap metal in the subway system is regularly scavenged and reworked into materials needed for projects within the city.
Penn Sanctuary is governed by a council, known as Penn’s Council. The group, which has thirteen seats, drafts and passes the laws that residents must obey. For the most part, they take a very hands-off approach to governing, allowing Penn Sanctuary residents to live their lives how they want. The most intrusive law that has been instituted is that all residents must serve compulsory service at least one month each year. The exact nature of the service varies from person to person, according to their personalities and skills. Compulsory service duties can vary from passive tasks, such as farming or maintaining machinery to active tasks, such as guard duty or subway tunnel exploration.
Penn Sanctuary is roughly eight acres, almost 350,000 square feet, spread over three different levels. The top-most level serves primarily as a large marketplace. People are free to come and go during the daytime hours, using the Empire Connection Tunnel to go back-and-forth. The middle-level is the primary residential hub of the Penn Sanctuary, where the majority of the 400 residents of the city make their homes. The bottom-most level is the primary industrial and agricultural hub of Penn Sanctuary, home to hydroponic gardens, power generators, and other machinery needed to keep the settlement operating properly.
Penn Sanctuary opens its doors to outsiders, primarily through trade, and as such, comes into contact from individuals from and representing different settlements and organizations from the New York City area. The underground city has a hot-and-cold relationship with the Federal Republic of Libeteria. As the republic has grown more powerful over the years, and has begin expanding its area of influence deeper into the island of Manhattan, Penn Sanctuary has become caught up in their political entanglements, from having to deal with their political climate to getting caught up in their battles with the National Pleasure League to having to outright resist campaigns to be annexed into the nation. The two settlements have an understanding with each other, doing their best to stay out of the affairs of the other, only formally interacting to tackle mutual threats.
The settlement does not have many active ties to the Principality of Queensland, but an accord signed years ago by Penn’s Council and Prince Connor McTaggert of the principality allows for tunnels leading into the kingdom to be maintained, in the event that the station ever be compromised. As of the present, the pact is still maintained.
Penn’s Council had a pact with the New York Ghosts years ago, when the Ghosts were at their peak, that the organization was always welcome in the city, and any members in need that came to the settlement would be helped to the best of Penn Sanctuary’s abilities. In exchange, the New York Ghost members could be called to travel south to help clear nearby tunnels when needed. The pact was rarely evoked, but when the Ghosts were almost destroyed during their conflict with The Cabal and with Enclave remnants, Penn Sanctuary played an important role in helping the organization rebuild and get back on its feet.
Slavers representing the National Pleasure League, violent members of the Skyscraper Tribes, and other local raiders and tribals periodically harass Penn Sanctuary, but such attacks rarely amount to anything serious.