Gun Nut
Work in Progress
This article is a work in progress.
General Information
Location:North Dakota
Notable Individuals:
Factions:Badlands Roughriders
Notable events:Resources Wars

Great War

Current status:conflict zone
"They call this place "The Will" because it's strong enough to stand up 'gainst much anything."
―Unnamed Resident
Williston, otherwise known as The Will was a pre-war city of the State of North Dakota and part of the Northern Commonwealth. After the Great War, the city's radioactive ruins and surrounding areas became known as the Badlands Territory. It is currently controlled by the Badlands Roughriders.


Pre War

Founded in 1887, Williston was named for Daniel Willis James, a board member of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, by his friend, railroad owner, James J. Hill.

Largely agricultural in its history, Williston boomed in the early 2020s due to large amounts of oil shale in the formation it sat upon, which drew workers from across the country to it. From 2025 to 2040s, Williston saw large growth as major oil drilling facilities made Williston their production capital for the region. Population skyrocketed, and the economy blossomed. However, in the early 2050s, the New Plague began to starve the region. Working conditions only worsened the disease spreading as men and women worked long hours with little or no breaks. Finally, in 2057, it no longer became economically feasible to continue oil production in the region and many left.

In 2055, Williston was chosen to receive the first experimental, long-range, ballistic defense stations under Project Insight by the Commonwealth Defense Administration. Believed to be because of their closeness to the Canadian Border, Williston's selection was really chosen due to its isolated nature thus making it easy to cover up if anything should go wrong.

Following 2070, mining coal became a struggle as much of the abundances of coal had been mined, leaving much of the area scarce of resources. This would close most of the mines, causing a sizable portion of the population to move elsewhere. This trend would continue up to the Great War, with the town numbering 8,000.

Post War

When the Great War occurred, the nearby Insight station did its job, sparing the region any direct hits. They could not be saved from the resulting Black Rain and wind-blown radiation. Many would die, and the remainder would turn into ghouls, who would occupy several small camps across the degrading city. As the ecosystem of the world broke down and mutated, the landscape surrounding the city became barren, with erosion common.

Scavengers would arrive in the city in 2100, and by 2122 there were several competing settlements in the ruins fighting over scavenging rights and claims. Raiders, winter, and attrition, would wittle it down to three camps in the ruins. In an attempt to end the fighting, Townly sent runners to the other camps to tell them they were becoming farmers. The scavengers scoffed at this, but unbeknownst to them, Townly had bought some maize from a merchant.

Townly would become the dominant camp after that, establishing a caravan lodge and walling up most of the town by 2128. The scavenger gangs continued to clash over claims, but eventually came to an agreement in 2130, with areas being designated as open or closed. The camps would eventually diversify their economic focuses, and they would also develop into towns of their own by 2142.

This wealth would attract raiders, and they would paralyze caravan traffic by the winter of 2143. The next spring the raiders were somewhat fewer, but it was enough for trade to resume. The various towns would organize militias to counter the raiders, but this would always be a temporary arrangement, the men and women returning home when the raiders were beaten.

In the 2170s, following the sudden arrival of super mutants from the West Coast, men and women of the region banded together for their own protection. These persons later became known as the "Badlands Roughriders" following the construction of their headquarters at the Museum of War. The Roughriders would manage to fight off the mutants, and began to turn their attention to the raiders that swarmed the region since the conflict started.

Under the supervision of the Roughriders, the surface of the town was cleared of feral ghouls, and the sentients were placed in detention. The city would then see again in prosperity as the ghouls and raiders stopped troubling the caravans. This would attract settlers and refugees from that corner of the state, seeking a safer arrangement.

By 2184 Williston had grown a handful of scavengers fighting over turf, to towns that were stable, and a half-dozen caravan companies. For the rest of the century, the towns would see steady expansion, with raiders kept at bay by the Roughriders. The early parts of the Twenty-third century would see ambitious members of the Roughriders along with several merchants attempt to clear some of the sewers, but it would result in little more than wounds and battle stories.

For the next few decades, the town would quietly grow, with the Roughriders ensuring order and peace in the streets. In 2203 a party of Roughriders would repair and repower one of the radio stations in town, using it to spread their propaganda.

Great Raider Wars

That peace would be shattered in 2239, when a large band of raiders swept into Uphill without warning, burning the settlement to the ground before moving on to Slack. By this time the Roughriders had come in force, and would engage these raiders in the town. The battle would be brutal and hectic, with civilians trying to avoid gunfire and escape.

The Roughriders would manage to kill or drive off most of the raiders, but most of the town would be damaged in the process. The survivors would be evacuated, sometimes by force, to Townly and the ruins garrisoned. The population of Williston would be halved, with the remaining people concentrated in one place. Three other raider bands would enter the city ruins during the wars, but the Roughriders would always manage to defeat them before Townly was threatened. Over time travelers began to call it Williston, being the only settlement in the ruins.

The town would manage to survive the Raider Wars, and would be better able to recover from it. The early 2250s were a time of great prosperity for Williston, with settlers and traders coming to the remote town. This would change with the appearance of the Outriggers, an aggressive raider-cult that set up in the nearby Insight facility.

The Outriggers would become a constant threat to the town, often sending parties to set up camps in the ruins. The Roughriders would clear these camps out, but the townspeople always worried. They would be given great cause in 2257, with the battle of Logan's Folly.

The Roughriders would sign themselves, and by extension Williston, to the ANA after they were rescued and a new flag flew over the town. Little would change with the declaration, however, with the town carrying on much the same as it had before, with the citizens more concerned about raiders than Custer.

City Design

The city center is composed of large multistoried buildings, but none that could be described as skyscrapers. As of 2287, many pre-War buildings are still standing though have deteriorated to an extensive level. Due to the lacking of many Vaults in the Midwest, the city utilized the less-reliable Pulowski Preservation Shelters which had left the city overrun with ghouls, most of which were driven underground by the arrival of settlers prior the formation of the Badlands Roughriders.

The areas outside of the city center are rolling barren plains and dune hills, with some suburban areas. To the southwest, one can see over the horizon the InsightOne facility which many are reluctant to go to. The terrain is bumpy with little remaining of streets or roads due to the massive dust storms that sweep the area. The main building which seems to rise over the city is the Fortress built from the old Museum of War, the main hub of the Roughriders power.


City Hall

Formerly one of the grander buildings in the city, following the bombs it has fallen into disrepair and ruin with much of the central rotunda collapsing in on itself. A wing of the facility has recently been claimed by the "church of Pickard" with services held daily.

Museum of War

The headquarters of the Badlands Roughriders, it doubles as their barracks and supply warehouse. Converted into a fortress, it has thick walls of stone and scrap metal, as well as turrets and gun-slits. It is here the Roughriders formally joined the American Northern Army after the battle of Logan's Folly.

City Cemetery

The Cemetery fulfills much the same purpose, being a place for the residents to mourn and bury their dead. Ceremonies are common throughout the warm months but tend to become more frequent around August as everyone hurries to beat the cold. It has a small non-denominational chapel as well as a shrine of Pickard.

6R Studios

The voice of the Roughriders, 6R has been operated as a military post since its inception. It began to play records soon after, however, and would prove wildly popular among the rank-and-file.


Williston was until fairly recently, an agricultural and scavenging settlement like so many others. Since its incorporation into the ANA and renewed awareness of the rest of the Badlands, it has become a caravan stop, being one of the only safe ways north into Canada. It possesses light industrial capabilities, mainly to repair or retrofit simple parts the Badlands Roughriders might need.


Williston is run by the Roughriders, its General setting laws and policies in the town. The citizens are under a different law than the troopers are, and are often left to their own devices. Taxes are collected every nine months and will equal fifteen percent of each person's wealth.