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Hellfire Gang
Skullonfire.jpg
Political Information
Group Type: Raider
Leader Title: Overboss
Leader: Fireman Stan
Motto: Kings of the Wasteland
Societal Information
Location: Corvega Theatre, Detroit Wasteland
Historical Information
Policy Information
Goals: Survival
Allies: None
Enemies: Various Detroit Wasteland communities, other raiders


Didn’t they used to be somebody?Roughcut

Once one of the most powerful gangs in the Detroit Wasteland, the Hellfire Gang have fallen far from their former position. Having previously controlled a substantial stretch of the city, their own hubris and inability to respond to new threats has seen then contained to a small stretch of the downtown district.

History

The history of the Hellfire gang begins with its predecessor, the Bone Breakers. A moderate-sized raider gang, the Bone Breakers occupied a swathe of territory on the east side of the Detroit Wasteland. Primarily preying on trade caravans travelling to and from Chryslus Castle, as well as their scavenging crews, the gang was consistent and functional, doing enough to remain operational even if they were not wildly successful. Their leader, Mad Dan, was content with their situation and did not want to risk the gang overextending or making itself too much of a threat.

This situation grated on one of his lieutenants, Pete Peterson. An ambitious man, Peterson felt that he was better then serving as second fiddle to what he saw as a lazy coward. However, while he did have a small core of loyal followers, Peterson lacked the support to challenge Mad Dan, and so had to remain stuck in his position.

His situation changed in 2257 when, by luck, Peterson stumbled in to a cache of pre-war weapons hidden in the basement of an old building. While for the most part they were conventional in nature, these weapons, mostly automatic rifles with ample supply of ammunition, were far more capable then the scrat-built pipe weapons that made up most Raiders’ arsenals. For his part, Peterson armed himself with what he saw as the prize of the collection, a heavy flamethrower.

Seeing an opportunity, Peterson and his loyal followers marched on the Bone Breaker’s headquarters, a semi-ruined strip mall. Peterson called Mad Dan out, demanding that he hand over control of the gang. When Mad Dan refused, Peterson’s followers turned their weapons on the gang, hosing them down with automatic fire. Mad Dan eventually relented, opting to talk to Peterson to negotiate a deal. Instead, Peterson immolated him and claimed control of the gang for himself. Nobody objected.

Renaming them as the Hellfire Gang, Peterson began an ambitious plan to expand their reach. Rather then muscling in on settlements or traders, his goal was to instead build a raider empire that would control the streets of the Detroit Wasteland by sheer size and weight of numbers. Dubbing himself Pyro Peterson, he directed his first move towards the neighbouring Red Jackal gang. After several skirmishes in which his better-armed men proved to be the superior of the Jackals, Pyro Peterson approached them and made them an offer. They could either become his vassals, or he would burn down their hideout with them inside it. Given the choice, the Jackals relented and surrendered to him. The gang was suborned into the Hellfires, agreeing to give them a cut of their own take in exchange for their continued existence.

Peterson would repeat this process with a number of other raider gangs across the city, expanding his reach by bringing them under his control. Not afraid to throw his weight around, Peterson used the gangs he controlled as weapons to bring others into line. Those that resisted found themselves crushed by numerically superior opponents, while also being squeezed out from their targets until they relented. The ongoing conflict with the Army of Revolution also aided the growth of the Hellfire Gang, as it meant that the settlements of the Detroit Wasteland were now focused elsewhere and didn’t realise exactly what he was doing.

The Chryslus theatre pre-war

For Peterson, what he saw as his greatest prize was when he forced the capitulation of the venerable Motor City Riders gang in 2262. A raider band that had been operational for several decades, the Riders controlled much of Downtown. With them under his control, he had claimed a vast swathe of territory, making himself the undisputed king of the Detroit Raiders. He went so far as to claim their lair, the Chryslus Theatre, for his own, making it the crown in his raider empire.

In many ways, this moment would come to represent the pinnacle of the Hellfire Gang’s power and influence. Having moved his court to the Chyslus Theatre, Pyro Peterson began to take on many of the trappings of a would-be king. He set himself up on a throne, surrounded by prizes from the gang’s takings, while spending less and less time in the field, enforcing his gang’s power.

This change began to manifest itself in other ways. As a way of demonstrating his control over the other gangs, Peterson ordered the creation of a fighting tournament to be held at the Theatre. Every month, each vassal gang would send a representative to the Theatre who would then take part in a brutal, to the death fighting tournament. The gang who’s representative won the fight would then have his favour, and be rewarded with a greater share of the takings. Pyro himself immensely enjoyed the fights, as much for the bloodshed as for the fact that all of this was being done to curry his favour.

With each passing month, Pyro Peterson became more and more focused on his games and less focused on the world around him. His inner circle remained sycophantic towards him, playing each other for his favour while in turn paying less attention to the actual running of their raider empire. In turn, the vassals began to notice this weakness, and started to reassert their independence. While not actively braking free from the Hellfire’s control, many began to instead keep more and more of their wealth for their own, while paying only lip service to their overlord.

Peterson died in March 2269, by that point being a bloated, chem-addled wreck of a man who bore no resemblance to the fierce warlord that had conquered half the raiders in the city. He left behind no successor, nor any plan of how one would be appointed. Instead, his lieutenants, themselves having grown fat and lazy, fought among themselves to take his place. As they remained focused on their internal power struggle, several of the vassal gangs took the opportunity to break away from the Hellfire Gang’s control. The remaining loyalist agents within them were quietly killed off, severing their links.

After two months of deadlock and power-plays, a leader emerged in one of the younger lieutenants, Flaming Joe. Taking stock of their empire, he was surprised to find that it had lost nearly half its territory while their backs were turned. Determined to reclaim their lost territory, he chose to target one of the breakaway gangs, the Bloodclaws. Putting together a team of his best men, Flaming Joe marched on Bloodclaw territory, expecting to cow them with a show of force.

Instead, he walked into an openly hostile, dug-in gang who refused to simply roll over and die. Rather, he found his force surrounded and outnumbered, with rival raiders having taken up positions along his route. After his team suffered severe casualties, he was forced into a humiliating retreat, effectively giving up any chance of reclaiming control of the Bloodclaws. News of the defeat spread fast, which served to encourage other vassal gangs to rise up as well.

Determined to staunch the bleed, Flaming Joe clamped down on their remaining vassals, increasing the number of men assigned to control each while also stepping up the amount of tribute each gang was to pay him. These moves did little to quell dissent, with a number of his lieutenants suffering ‘accidents’ as they tried to maintain control of their vassals or were ambushed while travelling between the vassals and the Chryslus Theatre.

The Hellfire gang's former lair

The worst was yet to come, however. Starting in 2271, other raider gangs began encroaching on the remaining Hellfire territory. They preyed on both the remaining loyal vassals and the Hellfire gang itself, which by this point was becoming stretched thin just simply trying to maintain control of their shrinking empire. The most humiliating loss came in 2273, when the Red Hyena gang (the successors to the Red Jackals) captured the Hellfire Gang’s original hideout, taking with it a substantial portion of their pre-expansion territory.

At the same time, the remaining vassals became harder to manage, with some openly rebelling against the Hellfire’s control. In response, Flaming Moe sent men to quell the uprisings, further stretching out and depleting his forces. By this point, the Hellfire gang was spending more effort in halting the decline of their empire then they were on actual raiding, with their income having fallen to practically nothing while the vassals were costing more to control then they were bringing in.

Flaming Joe was killed in an accident in early 2276, which was most likely a deliberate killing as a way to end his mismanagement and incompetence. His replacement was Tiffany the Torch, who was faced with a series of hard decisions over the gang’s future. Seeing no better option, she chose to abandon the remaining vassals, ordering her men to pull out and put whatever they could to the torch. This allowed her to consolidate the gang’s territory in Downtown, a far cry from their original extant but at the same time, something they could still reliably control.

This move had two immediate benefits. The first was that the Hellfire gang could actually concentrate on Raiding, which produced something of a turnaround in their income. The second was that the former vassals began fighting among one another for territory, effectively leaving the Hellfire Gang alone to rebuild. While the next five years were lean ones, they served to keep the gang alive, which was an improvement in and of itself.

The situation took a turn for the worse in 2281 as the Wrecking Crew gang, under a new and more aggressive leader, began muscling in on the Hellfire’s remaining territory. Operating out of the heart of downtown, the Wrecking Crew were effectively squeezing the Hellfires out of access to Park Lane and its traders, robbing them of a major source of income. And while the Wrecking Crew had no prior connection to the Hellfires, their actions still threatened to undo Tiffany’s work in stabilising their situation.

As a response, Tiffany ordered an attack on the Wrecking Crew’s territory, determined to push them back, claim some of their territory for her own and show that the Hellfire gang were still a force to be reckoned with. Her inital push went well, managing to push the Wrecking Crew away from their holdings while widening their corridor to Park Lane. As a show of force (and a way to prop up her own leadership), Tiffany chose to lead one attack on what she thought was their gang hideout. Unfortunately for her, she was killed in the attack by a seemingly stray missile, driving them back.

A quick meeting of the gang’s leadership put one of her lieutenants, Fireman Stan, in charge. By this point, some saw it as a poisoned chalice, a position that nobody wanted but someone had to take. Abandoning their push on the Wrecking Crew, Stan effectively conceded the access to Park Lane to the rival gang. Instead, he tried to concentrate their efforts on the lesser prospects held by the city’s east side, away from the major settlements. Even then, they still suffered some territorial loss, pushed back now to an island of a few city blocks around the theatre itself.

The final indicator of how far the gang had fallen came with the Revolutionary War. In their planning, the Army of Revolution saw the Hellfires as not being a significant threat, and not worth their time to either attack or buy off. As a consequence, the gang sat out the conflict, although they did take advantage of it by preying on whoever came near their territories, becoming more aggressive as other factions fought each other. In the aftermath of the conflict, the gang managed to actually grow through absorbing deserting Revolutionaries.

Description

Having fallen far from their peaks of power, the Hellfire gang are in essence just another raider gang in a city full of them. Stripped of their vassals and extensive holdings, they have little to distinguish them from so many other raider groups. At this point, their main goal is simply staying alive and avoiding destruction at the hands of another raider gang, Super Mutants, mercenaries or whatever other threats come along.

The gang has a fire theme, a legacy of Pyro Peterson and his first raider empire. This is reflected in its symbology, which is heavy on the use of fire and flames, and their colours which tend towards yellow and red. Many of the gang’s leaders and upper echelons adopt names based around fire (eg Pyro Peterson, Flaming Joe, Tiffany the Torch and Fireman Stan). However unlike some other similarly themed raiders, the gang has no reverence for fire (eg the Forged of the Commonwealth) and instead sees it more as a means to an end.

Their activities are typical of a Raider gang; they attack targets for caps, weapons, supplies, chems and whatever else they can carry away. Having been effectively cut off form the major settlements of the Detroit Wasteland, the Hellfire Gang’s targets tend to be more opportunistic then planned, with consequently smaller hauls. Their primary targets are scavengers, explorers, traders and other targets that present themselves. Due to being limited to Detroit’s less populated, more devastated east side, this means they can often go for extended stretches without a major haul.

Interior of the Chryslus Theatre

The headquarters of the Hellfire Gang is the pre-war Chryslus Theatre, which they in turn took from the now-defunct Motor City Riders gang. The building’s exterior survived the war and years of abuse more or less intact, although its interior has become somewhat decrepit and run down over time. Added to this is the redecorations performed by decades of raider occupation, involving graffiti, bullet holes, knives, human bones and so on.

Inside the building, the single most distinctive feature is the main auditorium, which was converted by the Hellfire gang into an arena for their deathmatch tournament. While the tournament itself has not run for nearly two decades, the arena still sees occasional use for various purposes. These have included ‘roughing in’ of new gang members, resolving disputes or even forcing prisoners to fight each other for the gang’s amusement.

Equipment

One of the gang's few remaining flamethrowers

Much of the pre-war arms cache that the gang was built on is long gone, having been lost or squandered in its long decline. Today, the Hellfire Gang’s equipment is typical of the many other Raider Gangs that infest the Detroit Wasteland. The most common firearms are scratch-built ‘pipe’ guns of varying quality and capabilities which are used alongside the few pre-war weapons the gang has been able to maintain. In recent years, Foundry-made rifles have also found their way into the gang’s ranks, through opportunistic scavenging and Army of Revolution deserters.

A few of the high-ranking gang members have access to a small stock of flame based weapons. This includes flamethrowers, flamer pistols and incendiary grenades. Many of the gang also use Molotov Cocktails, although this is more out of their ease of manufacture then any fire theme. The gang lacks heavy weapons, such as missile launchers or miniguns. Likewise, it has no access to sophisticated technology such as robots or Power Armour.

Notable Members

Fireman Stan

Fireman Stan

The fourth leader of the Hellfire Gang, Fireman Stan inherited the position after its prior leader was killed in a fluke missile strike. Having grown up in the gang, Stan has watched its decline, and seen how all the efforts to reverse the process has instead aggravated the situation further. Despite this, he manages to remain bullish about the gang’s future, convinced that it can regrow into a force to be reckoned with once again. His aggressive poaching of Army of Revolution deserters, many of them former raiders, is a part of his long-term plan for the future.

A thoroughly unpleasant man in and of himself, Stan is an unrepentant bigot and bully. Like his predecessors, he rose to the position through violence looking out for himself, although it would seem that his inheriting the gang was something of a poisoned chalice. However, while his rule has been somewhat pragmatic, he also has dreams of once again returning to glory and leading a vast, conquering raider army.

This has been written by KayEmm. Please contact this user before editing this article.
This has been written by DayteBayte. Please contact this user before editing this article.
This has been written by Darthfish. Please contact this user before editing this article.
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