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|Brothers in Claret|
|Group type:||Militant Traders|
|Leader:||Prince Kalvin Stewart|
|Motto:||No One Provokes Me With Impunity|
|Location(s):||Iverness Castle, Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Goals:||To protect Inverness Castle, and Maintain Trade in the Area|
The Brothers in Claret are the descendants of a company of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the sons and daughters of the Stewards.
By October 23rd, 2088, 11 years after the bombs fell, Inverness, Scotland had become a war zone, and her castle, once the seat of the Highland Council, became the centerpiece of a power struggle between rival groups. That all changed on the morning after the anniversary of the bomb when a fully reinforced company of the Black Watch showed up, fully armed and with orders to seize the Castle and wait for orders, marched into the City. The Watch had a hard time of it, because as they advanced into the city, they would come into violent contact with another gang or group of fighters. They eventually reached the Castle, and allied with the local group to take up residence there, a small band of men who called themselves the Stewards of Inverness. With the Black Watches help, the Stewards were able to beat the other groups vying for control of the castle. Unfortunately, doing so depleted the last of the companies ammunition, and they were forced to fight as the locals did, with sword, axe, and knife. The fighting became fierce, but in the end the other groups sulked back into the city proper, content to fight among themselves and leave the castle to her new owners.
The Castle itself
Inverness castle is built of a red sandstone, stained from the fires of war and the blood of the fallen. Much of the Southern portion of the Castle collapsed during the fighting, and instead of attempting to repair it, the survivors used the stone from the collapse to shore up any holes, and to fill in many doorways and lower floor windows. The central building was thus made easier to defend against attack. The final thing done with the excess stone was used to make approaching the front doors much trickier by forcing assailants into a funnel, its narrowest point Away from the front door.
After the Reconstruction
Years passed before the reconstruction of Inverness Castle was completed, but when it was finally finished on December 20th, 2093, the Brothers in Claret had been formed. The military arm of the survivors that called Inverness castle, the hill it stood on, and the next 3 blocks, their home, the Brothers in Claret were armed the same as most of the denizens of Inverness: with Scottish Broadswords, Lochaber Axes, and a variety of knives, clubs, and hammers. Fighting with the neighboring gangs, tribes, and raiders was dangerous, arose out of the shadow's, a cry of alarm, and fierce melee's were the extent of "warfare" in Inverness. That changed one day when a band of drug-addicted loons called the Hooligans of East Gate got hold of some guns. No one knows who gave them guns, but everyone knew they had 'em when the Hooligans went out of their mall and assaulted one of the BiC's most cherished treasures, the Museum, where the BiC stored its supplies. The Hooligans assault would have proven fatal for those trapped within, if not for the action of the Brethren of St. Andrew, who crossed the bridge over the River Ness in the dark of night, and ambushed the Hooligans from behind with expertly placed arrows and Molotov style grenades. The Hooligans became routed, and they attempted to flee to the safety of the East Gate Mall, only to be ambushed again by a coalition of BiC and several other smaller groups that had beefs with the Hooligans, or wanted some of their firepower. The Hooligans never made it home, and their home was quickly seized by the BiC.
During the battle for the Museum, a wall tumbled inside the museum itself, revealing a stairwell going down. This was kept secret from everyone but the Brethren and the BiC present, and the Prince at the time, Andrew Steward. After the Hooligans were put down, a group of men and women were sent into the hole to investigate. After about 60 feet, the stairs ended and the explorers found themselves in a dark, cold, and dry room. Lighting a torch, they found themselves in an armory! Along the walls of this subterranean room where stacks of crates, and inside of the crates were SMLE Mk III rifles, Webley revolvers, and several functional lewis guns, as well as crate after crate of ammunition. The Exact amount of all this gear was found on a clipboard, as well as the possible location of other such stockpiles: 60 SMLE Mk III rifles, 320 Webley Revolvers, 4 Lewis Guns, 26000 rounds of .303 British, 19,200 rounds of .455 Webley. A note explained that this equipment had been brought here nearly 80 years prior to when the bombs dropped, in 1997, the explained reason being that a group of men were sure war was on the horizon, and that these weapons, which had served the Empire well in the past, may be needed again. Rearmed and determined, the BiC and the Brethren of St Andrew combined into a single faction, and under guard, began to build defenses around their lands, walls of rubble and crumpled cars, booby-trapped homes, and constant patrols. Though not unassailable, the lands of the BiC, or The Bonny Boys in Red, anyone looking to pick a fight would have to have fairly decent numbers AND fire power to get all the way to the Castle.
The Years go By
The years go by, with their soldiers armed, and every citizen packing a pistol, the BiC's borders have never been more secure. But recently (July 12th 2281) rumors have begun to circulate, that something is happening to the south, and its not gonna be good for the BiC. The previous 200 years had been spent keeping the BiC's lands secure, and as keeping trading going. Several major factions have formed: To the South the Grant Clan of Lockend, fishermen and fierce warriors allied to no-one. The Druids of West Hill, men and women who revere the old ways over the new, and are extremely good at ambushing their enemies and taking them out. And To the North, the Inverness Footballers rule over the old stadium and most of Kassock. The BiC is powerful, but the Prince doesn't want to force an expansion out of the Castle lands, for fear of the losses the BiC would accumulate, and the amount of precious ammo (which they can ill afford to waste on such an endeavor), as well as the loss of their valuable firearms (they had lost nearly 50 pistols already to trade and repair work) and they have enough of a hard time keeping their closest neighbors, the Footballers, out of their lands.
Inside the Wall: BiC territory
The lands of the BiC radiate out from Inverness Castle. Many of the houses immediately around the Castle and its hill have been demolished, the land transformed for farming. The Museum has been repurposed into the BiC armory and smithy, where all of the BiC's swords, rebar spears, knives, axes, maces, and pieces of armor are forged, and whatever firearms and ammo not issued out is stored.
The Past 10 years
Ten years ago, the last Prince, Prince Andrew Stewart, and his youngest brother, Lucas Stewart, were killed in a IED attack while out for a stroll in BiC territory. Greif Stricken, the middle brother, Kalvin Stewart, took the mantle of Prince, and vowed to find who had murdered his only brothers. Soon after he discovered a large cache of .303 ammunition while searching a warehouse north of the Castle, nearly 60,000 rounds of ammunition, nearly triple what the BiC had at its disposal. Some outside the BiC thought it was an odd quincident that his brothers died Right before this find, but what is known is that the BiC quickly mobilized. New units, called Black-Jacks, went out of the BiC in the dead of night, and quickly wiped out several neighboring gangs, to the east and south. The attacks were brutal and swift, and the BiC advanced all the way to the Westhill Forest before being forced to a grinding halt by the Druids brand of hit and run, ambush style tactics. And advancing across the Bridge proved difficult as the West River gangs, clans, and tribes had been preparing in secret for this move. The BiC did not make moves to the north, seeing it as a dangerous move after the stalemate in Westhill, so now they sit, their borders thoroughly expanded.
The standard BiC citizen carries a Webley revolver and 12 shots, as well as wears the red and black kilt associated with the Brothers, and usually a long dirk. A Soldier of the BiC on the other hand, wears leather armor reinforced with strips of scrap steel, and carries either a Broadsword and dirk, a two handed battle axe, or, if they are of the elite rifle squads, one of the SMLE Mk III's as well as a short sword and a single pipebomb.
The BiC trades quite a bit, buying food and ammunition for their guns, and selling equipment and whatever food they can spare from their farms, as well as weapons forged at the Museum.