The Southern Brotherhood Of Steel
Although it can be easy to be lured by their fine equipment, it may be best to avoid the Brotherhood when available. Most of the Brothers will do little but shun you, and more xenophobic members will have no qualm about popping a few rounds in your direction. Although information on them is scarce, by their own inclusive nature, if one managed to acquire the information, they would find their origin to be quite interesting. A splinter of a larger organization, the Southern Brotherhood of steel was formed half out of choice and half out of necessity. A part of the original Brotherhood’s “Eastern Expedition”, a detachment of two airships held the young minds that would become the Southern Brotherhood, the catalyst for the splintering nothing more then an unexpected electrical storm.
Separated from the majority of their Brothers and badly damaged when the clouds cleared, what was left of the two ships decided to push towards the east in hope of reuniting with the rest of their dispatch. Far off course and hobbling through the sky, they ultimately failed, crash-landing in an undisclosed location in the south. Slowly reorganizing and realigning, the new Southern Brotherhood grew out of the wreckage of the same two airships, believed to be vaguely in the Carolinas.
Out of all post war organizations operating in the south, they are likely one of the best organized and equipped, although rather small in number. They roughly rule over multiple small towns and tribal settlements, demanding any useful scavenged technology. Offering protection and little else, it is even rumored that they occasionally appear in settlements they control, demanding any available newborns to take into their own before they become ‘unclean’. These few take-ins will likely join in on the oppression of their own peoples in years to come.
Their most notable presence is seen in encounters with their main fighting force, brotherhood knights. These small groups of roaming brothers and sisters, clad in specialized combat armor and often carrying rare energy weapons, appear in much of the wasteland, often on missions for technology or to ‘straighten out’ local tribes. Be warned, the brotherhood has little love for wastelanders, looking down on the unwashed masses.
Much rarer are reports of brotherhood Paladins, clad in power armor, and carrying heavy weaponry. Far more secretive and mysterious then the already mysterious knights, whatever paladins may be doing, it likely isn’t something you want to become involved in. Many have died by their hands, riddled with minigun bullets, or having been burned to death. If you've ever encountered these men, consider yourself lucky. If you were their target, you'd be a rotting corpse laying out somewhere in the wasteland.
The SBOS is the best organized militarily, and their tactics are a rather odd mix of pre-war military ideals and more ancient strategies. They employ their main fighting force using Old American military precision, although on a smaller scale, and wield their Paladins like a sledgehammer to plow through opposition.
The Confederate remnant
'Deo Vinde' brother! "God will vindicate!"
With the Union purged from the earth at the onset of nuclear war, the “south” finally did indeed find its chance to rise again. With unrest taking hold all around, a few old militants managed to hold onto old grudges, desperately trying to organize themselves. What resulted was more prosperity then the original members could’ve imagined. It seemed that one ideal of the confederacy was apt to rise in the new world, and that was the institution of slavery. Despots, Strongmen and their like all flocked to what started as a small huddle of Confederate holdings in Georgia.
To them, nothing had more appeal then as much land as they could hold, supplies to survive, and as many slaves as they could afford. The Confederate Remnant, as it soon chose to call itself, did little but cater to these needs, and the first wave of various attracted power brokers and autocrats formed what would be the new aristocracy of the confederacy. As time went, the confederacy began to establish itself further as a collective of independent land and slave owners, growing and expanding in all directions.
Staying true to it’s name, although the confederacy does have a president, Jefferson Lee, the confederacy does little other then loosely oversee it’s various different ‘counties’, most of which are named and influenced by the largest landholders in the region. The confederacy does manage to hold, however, enough of an ‘army’ to support it’s many free citizens. Regulars are usually well enough armed to handle simple raiders and the like, mainly with various pieces of ancient hunting equipment. Among officers, it’s no secret that blades are highly coveted. Most medium ranked troops will carry a Bowie Knife or Arkansas toothpick of some kind, while intermediate troops often carry replica or well made swords and the finest of knives. Of course, the highest of officials are sometimes even seen with real relics and hand-me-downs from the civil war of old.
Light taxes in men, wealth, and crops are expected often, although in most cases their toll is negligible to the large barons they effect. As one would probably expect, the Confederacy is the largest organization of slave traders in the south, with large trades occurring between various aristocrats, and slave traders and slaving parties journeying out to other parts of the south, or at least those that will accept them. Slaving parties generally don’t discriminate; taking men and women of all races and walks of life, often, the only sure way to avoid the harsh conversion in property is through slaving connections yourself.
Being that they are the largest southern organization of slavers, they are one of the richer organizations of the wasteland. The only catch is the fact all of their wealth lies in raw manpower and land, not actual material. Although haphazard, Confederate soldiers aren’t to be trifled with, and battle cries of “God will Vindicate” are not to be trifled with.
The Organized Tribes of the New South
The south is home to handfuls of large tribal bands, and countless other small ones, many of which form the backbone of the so called ‘un-civilized’ wasteland populous. Roving tribes have been wandering the area since the nuclear war, trying to eek out a living in the shadow of the old world, and for many years, they did this mainly independently. Eventually, of course, many of these tribes began to take notice of their neighbors, and many traded their meager supplies for mutual benefit, of course, a good number went to war with each other as well, sending out war bands to capture, drive out, and otherwise do battle with rival clans and tribes. Of course, as more and more time passed, many of the more docile and friendly of the tribes banded together and worked various agreements within their works.
Through these agreements the “Organized Tribes of the New South” was born. Originally nothing more then a few nearby tribes convening to discuss minor land and religious issues, the organization quickly began adding more and more tribes to its banner. The organized tribes, in reality, are less organized then one might assume, and most matters are settled with occasional rendezvous of all associated chieftains. Although they mainly remain friendly with each other as a whole, it would be foolhardy to assume all of the tribes are peaceful with each other, and many different small groups of tribes and the like are at a battle for more power and control from within the Organized Tribes, and occasionally because of different religious or cultural conflicts.
Although rarely violent on a tribe-to-tribe basis, it is not altogether uncommon to still see different tribes battling, even if they both claim the banner of their parent group. Most tribes are expected to send a few of their warrior elite to help scout and aide with larger matters, but other then that any ‘military’ they may have is composed of individuals rather then working units. Although not altogether unified, it isn’t hard to pick an affiliated group out from a non-affiliated one. Not seeking to expand or even function much like a single unit, the main basis of the organization is to provide solid trading partners and a unified front for the tribal cause.
Louisiana Board of Education
Although the origins of its name are hazy at best, one can only assume this large conglomeration of separate raider bands originated with what was once an organization of schoolteachers and educators. They’ve remained more or less true to their roots, pillaging and plummeting for a living. Although other gangs and groups of raiders certainly exist, and even often outnumber members of the Louisiana Board of Education, they often like the coordination and hierarchy of the Louisiana Board’s members, or “Lobbers” as they’ve been named by local homesteaders and caravaneers off of their acronym.
Mainly operating in northern Louisiana, Lobbers are known to focus on a handful of different efforts to raise currency from within the organization, and as you’d guess, they mostly focus on preying on others for their income. Working under what they tend to call a “bossman” system, the Louisiana Board of Education separates into multiple separate gangs, each with their own Boss. Different gangs are formed together under a so called “Big boss”. Big Bosses, in turn, take orders from the “Big bossman”, the overall leader of the Lobbers. Although most gangs go about business in their own ways, in general, they cotton to the orders of their superiors.
The simplistic system of organizing works well, however, and although different gangs usually seek out their own interests, together the Lobber’s system is utilitarian, although rudimentary. Of course, as a whole, the Lousiana Board of Education tends to spotlight two different operations. The raid or extortion of small communities and towns for profit, and the operation of different toll roads and check points that otherwise hustle traveling traders out of money. Although one would assume the Lobbers are a universally hated group, this isn’t altogether true. While lawmen and merchants generally see them as scourge, able bodied fighters and rebellious types often look at them romantically, and even some savvy merchants can’t help but admit it’s quite the profitable organization.
Outlaws often seek them out for haven, and many small time raiders, upstart kids and mercenaries join them in hopes of making a better living.
The commonwealth of Alabama
The commonwealth of Alabama facilitates the third seat in any basic wasteland economy. Ask any children playing around and they’ll explain to you the simplest principle. Some kids get to play the raiders, some kids get to play the lawmen, and some kids get to play the traders. The commonwealth finds itself holding the position of the mercantile. To explain fully though, one has to look at the commonwealth as a whole. Half government and half merchant organization, the commonwealth started as nothing more then a trade alliance between multiple small city states dotted across Alabama. As is often the case in the wasteland, survivors find themselves clinging to whatever key recourses they can, and that often leaves little room for variety. Of course, when settlements do eventually start to find each other, trade is almost always quick to follow.
In this case, as the separate settlements became more and more dependent on each other, the trade agreements that secured these dependencies gradually became more powerful and important. With time, separate towns began to shift even more focus on the various trade alliances, and before long, the wealth generated, and law needed, in inter-town trade surpassed that of the towns themselves. It wasn’t long before the settlements started working from the trade network out rather then from their towns in, and soon what is now known as the Commonwealth of Alabama was formed.
Being run by a rough conglomeration of businesses, merchants, and caravaneers has its ups, which tend to be seen mainly through shrewd transactions and a commitment to ‘hands off’ business practices. Commonwealth agents are seen almost exclusively through trade as merchants, although they are less commonly seen as caravan guards and other such patrols in the interest of trade.
The Texas Rangers
In the glowing embers of atomic war, many survivors regressed to their basic instincts. Murder, theft, debauchery and savagery ran rampant. While some were naturally excluded from this, they found themselves terrorised by those who were part of it. Raiders, the ultimate predators of the Wasteland, did whatever they wanted to whenever they wanted to, and there were no formulated efforts against them. Everyone was looking after their own turf, but what about the common man? Nobody stepped in to defend him. That was the case until 2234, when Charles Walker decided that enough was enough.
He gathered like-minded people from various settlements in the former commonwealth of Texas and with them at his back, formed the Texas Rangers. No longer would Raiders do as they pleased. No longer would those Confederate bastards continue their sick kidnapping scheme. With their signature stupid-looking hats worn proud atop their heads, and the somewhat stereotypical shotguns on their backs, these valiant, heavily accented men and women strive without end in their quest to establish order in the Wasteland. They do this by ruthlessly executing key figures in the less desirable communities, offering copious amounts of goods for the heads of crooks. Whether they are heroes or self-righteous assholes is dependent on who you're asking.
Currently occupying the eastern border of texas in it's entirety, the Texas Rangers stand true to their name, patrolling for raiders and ruffians wherever and whenever they can. Half bountry hunters and half do-gooders, the Rangers have even recently managed to make trade routes in their territory safe and build enough stocks to offer prices on the heads of handfuls of different criminals.
The Arkansas Mississippi joint-state
While you may be lead to believe this group has control over the entire duel-state area, this is largely untrue. The Arkansas Mississippi joint-state is a collection of self reliant forts and hideouts spread vaguely around their namesake area. Although they aren't paticularly politically active, they have a fairly interesting history, and if you're in their area, it's likely you'll come in contact with them at some point.
One of the older standing organizations in the south, the Joint State began operating not long after the smoke cleared from the great war itself. Remnants of the actual government, or so they claimed, in Arkansas where prudent in the first days after the war, deftly manuevering loopholes and opportunities to bring the last few pieces of the national guard under their disposal. Using them as a buffering force against the hordes of scrambling survivors was the perferred tactic, protecting those that they could and letting the rest wander the wreckage of Little Rock. As time passed, any possible fat was cut, and few remained. With the dust cleared, small strands of the Arkansas state government survived, and among them one rose. Ashland Trufield, the master architect from the begining, turned out to be nothing more then the postmaster of Arkansas.
The years left the Arkansas government on it's own as entirely unstable, and out of necessity, it aiding the clinging remains of another state government to help it's own stability. With what was left of Mississipi enlisted as a sort of working class, the newly formed Joint state seeked what it felt most important, stability, and it did so by forcing the old constraints of government into what equaited to a basic system of feudalism. With the Postmaster as it's vaguely representative king and the position of Mayor turned more into an elected Baron of local lands then anything else, the joint-state set about fortifying it's spread lands and settlements and has been sitting on them ever since.
With their modern guards and soldiers still called "Nationals" turned inward instead of outward, you likely won't gain much trouble unless you stumble into one of their towns or settlements. Laws are generally strict in the interest of protection, and you should expect nothing less then a search before you can enter. The Joint-State may not offer many freedoms, but it's a safe life, and many hold with it for that reason.
The wasteland can be a strange, harsh, unforgiving place. If technology could make your life easier, hell, eventually, everyone's life easier, even by the very slightist degree, wouldn't it be a valuble effort to perserve it, and even continue the innovative work of the past? To create, and to explore what we, as a race, may be capable of? This single thought, spoken alloud by it's founder, is what shaped and formed every aspect of the university. "The University" as a faction was named after it point of origin and founding, which is curiously also only referred to as "The University"
It's founding members and higher power structure are very much shrowded in mystery, although much of the organization is. After all, most of the members are far too busy studying the achievments of the past or out scientifically researching the gritty realities of the present. The University is one of the most diverse and varied of all southern factions, and one of the most technologically advanced. Having stable crops (However mutated by the horrors of radiation) and limited industrail capabilities, enough to keep large numbers of robots running and working for the university. While anything but warlike, the university is well equiped, and is therefore capable of defending itself and it's recources. Most of the time, when a large pre-war relic of scientific value is found, the University will send a team of researchers, clad in their signature labcoats, equiped with well repaired and replaced weaponry and tools and with robotic helpers, to explore any possibilities for study or use back at the universities stronghold.
Their open acclaimation of technological goods and pre-war equipment obviously often puts them at odds with the brotherhood, although the University doesn't have near the military might that the Brotherhood wields, and chooses it's battles wisley. Currently, the University is mainly concerned with it's own enternal research, and therefore unable and unintereseted in obtaining much more power or land then it already holds. Luckily for the University, eager young recruits are easy to come by, although few stand up to their high standards of education and intelligence. The university is one of the richest factions of the wastes, being a producer of rare equipment, medical supplies, and even ammunition on a small scale, and as such, is often willing to hire large groups of mercenary's to help secure it's interests.
Loosely, the third strongest military power, the Universities tactics are very situational, although they have a permenant core of mercenary elite. Rather then modeling strategy on tactics of the past, the University's military is a cobbeled together mix of post-war mercenary tactics.
It is also interesting to note, that as of yet, the University is the only organization who has managed to make a semi-accurate calander and to keep track of the current year, along with important events post-war.