- "Better make the best of it, right?"
- ―A New Ghost accepting Mason as his new home
A newly formed settlement formed out of a ghost town, Mason is inhabited by a group from New York, the New Ghosts. Originally hoping to become overlords of the region, the New Ghosts were instead subdued by Custer's American Army and forced to make do with just Mason.
The town that would become Mason was already a ghost town pre-War. Resting on I-90, the small town had served as rest stop but had dried up in the early 2070s when traffic patterns changed.
For the next 200 years, the town remained empty and fell into major disrepair. This changed in the fall of 2281 with the arrival of the New Ghosts on their odyssey from New York. Led by Commandant Henry Miller, the New Ghosts wanted to establish themselves as the "protectors of the people" and decided to settle down in the ghost town to begin their operations, naming it Mason after the Ghosts' founder, Samuel Mason.
The New Ghosts first set about repairing the buildings in town and setting up makeshift defenses in preparation for possible attacks. This attracted the attention of nearby Dakota who investigated.
In November, one of the more inexperienced New Ghosts' sentries spotted the Dakota spying on Mason and fired at them, killing several. This caused numerous skirmishes between the Dakota and the New Ghosts which culminated in Custer's American Army getting involved.
A mixed RUSA-Dakota army led by Colonel Cain Vandada besieged Mason and eventually forced Commandant Henry Miller to surrender and accept the authority of the RUSA and pay reparations to the Dakota.
After the Siege of Mason, the New Ghosts began losing heart in their leader and ideals but still plodded on. They could not just move to another area and start over again. They had make do with what they had. The New Ghosts decided to start farming and hiring themselves out as mercenaries to survive after a month or so. Also, they tried (and continue to try) to alleviate the massive gender disparity in the town (five men for every woman), though that has been unsuccessful so far. The town retains an uneasy militant attitude, as many are afraid that the Dakota or RUSA might betray them and try to wipe them out any day.
A small pre-War ghost town, Mason has a handful of houses clustered around its main street. Almost all the houses are now fortified due to the New Ghosts arriving. Makeshift gates and barricades ring around the settlement, protecting it from outside dangers. The houses inside are ramshackle but stable. The Commandant lives in the center of town in a house constructed post-war out of sandcrete.
Mason's economy is mostly based from subsidence agriculture and some mercenary services with the Reformed United States of America. The town is rather poor but makes a living. It not the lifestyle the New Ghosts expected, but it is what they have to live with.
The town is ruled by of the New Ghosts, and the New Ghosts are directly controlled by their commandant and the town by the permanent emergency mayor, Henry Miller. Miller and his subordinates rule Mason with a fair hand but are ultimately under the toe of Custer and the RUSA and subject to their laws.
Mason is run as a military camp for the New Ghosts and as a result has a very martial culture. This leads to constant clashes with raider bands and rogue Dakota who are afraid of the town's potential. The New Ghosts and the RUSA have managed to repel all of these attacks so far, but it cannot continue forever.
The New Ghosts are culturally New Yorkers, with everything from their accents to their food clashing with the locals. Intermarriage will eliminate most of these traits in the next few generations but now, Mason is still alien to most in the Badlands Territory.
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