- "Arms and ammunition are just about the only things that aren't in danger of running out in this place."
- ―Common local saying
|Location:||Northwest Commonwealth, Oregon|
|Population:||The low thousands|
|Notable Individuals:||General Virgo Clark, Caesar Skull-Taker, Jeanine Parker|
|Factions:||Free Northwestern Army, Skull-Taker's Legion, Oregon tribals, New Disciples, the Snakebites|
|Notable events:||Great War, Mutant War, Oregon Brushfire Wars|
|Current status:||Stuck in gridlock due to war|
Portland, formerly one of the largest cities in the pre-war United States, is now a ruined urban wasteland populated by various different groups that have vied for control of the concrete husk for almost two centuries. The situation has stabilized somewhat in recent years, with much of Portland being re-inhabited in the years following the Great War, with the famous Portland 'weirdness' even making something of a rather muted return, but Portland has remained a flashpoint for conflict throughout this rebuilding, with numerous factions and individuals vying for control of the shattered remnants of this former metropolis.
Prior to the Great War the city of Portland was a thriving metropolis enjoying the great boom of prosperity seen following the end of World War II; arguably one of the most desirable and modern cities in the United States, it boasted a thriving service and leisure economy unrivalled on the Wast Coast. Luxurious hotels, five star restaurants; all were to be found in the city. Of course, Portland also had its famously bohemian lifestyle to advertise itself with; a counter-cultural place of beatnik artists, refusing to jive to the squares' rules, with all the coffee shoppes, fashion boutiques and poetry clubs that entailed. Though this hardly matched much of the rest of the United States' all American, patriotic, white-picket-fence sensibilities, it nonetheless found its place in large parts of Portland, with its famously anti-consumerist devotees buying up every consumer good on the market, buoyed by trust-funds and meagre earnings from the odd poetry workshop.
Of course, by the 2060s and the declaration of the Sino-American War, government patience with these otherwise trivial alternative lifestyles lived by a considerable portion of the populace had grown increasingly thin; opposition to the draft and increasing numbers of protests regarding the ever-intensifying food rationing further aggravated the city, state and federal governments to the point where action, of any nature, was determined to be utterly necessary; arrests of prominent demonstration leaders, regardless of their familial connections, and their subsequent disappearances in custody, often at the hands of shadowy figures supposedly working for the Defense Intelligence Agency, did little to inspire patriotic values in these draft-dodging chem-takers.
Beyond the putting down of protests, the military presence was fairly lax, save for the usual troop movements as forces made the great push to the coast and beyond, likely to see action in the Pacific against the Chinese. Sizeable stockpiles of arms and ammunition were placed in especially high concentrations at select locations, such as the Air National Guard base and the odd DIA safehouse, in the event of what was feared to be the possibility of a second-front opening on the West Coast. As the 2060s drew on, the fear of Chinese invasion became less of a concern; instead, these stockpiles were reinforced by supplies of disaster relief equipment, specifically Rad-X and RadAway, as fears of an atomic war prompted by a now desperate and losing China grew amongst civil and military authorities.
Of course, the rush to offer protection and assurance drew many tempted buyers; the Vault-Tec Corporation, all too keen to jump on board the ever-growing demand for protection from the equally expanding threat of atomic war settled with civil-authorities in Portland a multi-million dollar contract to build the extensive Vault 9, advertised even before construction had begun as the pinnacle of safe-and-secure luxury. Completed in 2068, with hostilities roaring across the world, the Vault's waiting list consisted of a variety of characters; government officials, established silver-screen actors, forward-thinking industrialists and well-established local society figures signing themselves and their families, no matter how sneeringly counter-cultural, to what was hoped to be an iron-plated guarantee against destruction in any potential nuclear holocaust. Of course, the average blue-collar worker was unlikely to be able to afford the pricey entrance fee; so, to fill the demand, Pulowski Preservation Services quite merrily jumped on the bandwagon with their patented Pulowski Preservation shelters; nuclear protection on a budget, as was well advertised.
Despite the growing concern, many in Portland were convinced that, as long as the conventional war with China went well, no chance of any nuclear war or resulting annihilation stood at all; many right-minded patriots went about their self-proclaimed duties, whilst Portland's plucky would-be revolutionaries hurled abuse at the steady stream of troops. With the liberation of Alaska from Chinese forces on the 10th January, many on the home front breathed a sigh of relief; the war, it seemed, was over - with it, any possible threat to the American way of life.
That feeling of relief soon gave way to a sense of dread as the later months of 2077 dragged on. Though the war in China was going well by all accounts, the situation on the homefront was becoming increasingly unstable as resources became more scarce, to the point where even those in the still deeply influential civil-service of Portland were noticing a distinct lack of Fancy Lads Snack Cakes in their pantries. Rationing and political protests, the latter carried out in outrage over the detainment of huge numbers of Chinese-American citizens, only served to worsen Portland's position - and, strengthen the military garrison. Fears of Communist sedition rather than Communist invasion became the chief fear amongst planners. Anti-war civil-disobedience, carried out previously as more of a statement of counter-cultural, anti-war, anti-capitalist faux-radicalism than actual discontent, became riots, as spineless beatniks were joined by the determined throng of the average Joe and Jane America in battles with civil-authorities and even members of the armed forces. Ration lines also became a source of rioting, with much of the violence allegedly caused by trigger-happy guardsmen of the Oregon National Guard.
By the fall of 2077, the violence in Portland and the resulting damage to private and public property had escalated to the that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were soon dealing with damages done to public infrastructure through orchestrated sabotage by civilian malcontents - not that this was admitted, instead being blamed on Communist forces residing in the few shadowy slums where many Chinese citizens had been corralled. Many concerned citizens joined in, with neighborhood watches organised to combat the rising violence as well; private ownership of firearms, large even 'til this point, swelled; this only helped to escalate violence, when the neighborhood watches themselves began targeting prominent figures within the various demonstrations, seeking to prove themselves patriots to the last. Portland by early October of 2077 was a powder-keg, primed and ready to explode, though it might have seemed quite different when looking at the thoroughly propagandized newspapers circulating through Portland's streets, patrolled frequently by well-armed members of the National Guard. Much of the rioting at this point had been suppressed, and many of the leaders of the demonstrations that had become such a thorn in the side of the authorities had been rounded up for sedition and even down-right treason. The streets were relatively calm again, though that was largely put down to most upstanding citizens being still too afraid to come out in the midst of the ongoing military crackdown.
On October 23, 2077, Portland's civil and military authorities received advanced warning that nuclear strikes had been carried out by the Chinese. As efforts were made to quickly evacuate key figures to secure locations, sirens blared and Civil-Defense agencies rushed into action. Hundreds in the northern metropolitan area of Portland scrambled to get to and enter Vault 9; hundreds more than the Vault had been built to contain. Members of the Vault's security and those few dutiful military and law enforcement personnel left were forced to fend off hundreds of desperate people at gunpoint as those approved were allowed entrance, usually with one last hesitant glance at the chaos behind them. Chaos reigned as looting and panic spread. Soon enough, a combination of nuclear warheads and atomic ordnance fell on Portland, to devastating effect. Much of the great city was leveled in the space of a few brief minutes, thousands died in what seemed only mere seconds, with many at the doors of the Vault ineffectually scratching at it when the blast hit. Those who survived, in the initial blasts, survived outside of the vault in either poorly-planned and hastily constructed shelters or even sewers were left to brave the radiation that followed, alongside the burning fires and scorching debris; those on the blasted city streets who had, by some miracle, survived were left to the agonizing, drawn-out process of ghoulification, becoming the city's first number of Ghouls, feral or otherwise. Those taken to refuge in the Vault were left sheltered from the blasts and the after-effects, but shocked by the suddenness and sheer destruction they had borne witness to; numbed by the thought of a new, harder life underground, many would be given precious few days to come to terms with their new lives in the shelter of Vault 9 - on the surface, others would not be so lucky, plunging headlong into a grim, irradiated nightmare of a future.
The situation in Portland immediately following the Great War was pure hell. Thousands more people who survived the blasts on the first days died in the utter chaos that ensued afterwards.
Much of Portland's downtown had been leveled by the bombs, and almost no unmutated survivors had survived there. The ghouls and few scattered humans left there left for safer areas as soon as they could. So, downtown more or less emptied out in the first few days after the Great War.
Meanwhile, the parts of Portland further out from where the bombs fell were only relatively better. The survivors there mostly scrambled to find shelter from radiation though some like the surviving members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon National Guard tried to maintain order in the face of Armageddon. They faced no real violent opposition, but it was hard enough to just remain alive in those days.
Those unfortunates residing inside the Chinese detainment slums who survived the bombs were either left to die if they stayed or killed by the remaining neighborhood watchmen who were now crazed. The people living in Portland outside ground zero, mostly those who had sheltered themselves during the attacks, either hunkered down to wait out the fallout or fled the metropolitan areas for greener pastures. That mad rush out of Portland in the days following the Great War only led to greater bloodshed when fights began to break out between refugees over supplies. This attracted the attention of the remaining National Guard who broke with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at that point, deciding to take advantage of the situation to get some more supplies. This led to a brief bloody battle on the shores on the Willamette River on October 28, 2077, that had no real victor. The refugees and the National Guardsmen that clashed there effectively killed each other.
Following that small battle, activity in Portland reduced greatly as most of the refugees who could leave left and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unit there effectively dissolved into nothing. With the police, the National Guard, and the military gone, there were no more obstacles to the coming darkness of the post-War period.
The black rain began to fall on October 31, killing much of the remaining vegetation and animals along with many of the stupider survivors who had remained outside. The winter of 2077 was especially harsh as well, with many more people who had held on until then dying from the cold or the remaining radiation. The only small community that managed to persist on Mount Tabor due to the perseverance of the refugees there and the help of local ghouls who wished to retain a connection with humanity.
In the years following the Great War, Portland grew cold and barren, with only the community on Mount Tabor persisting (though inbreeding became a problem) while the only things that lived in the city proper were ghouls and scattered scavengers. Most people learned to avoid Portland due to the danger from radiation and mutants, while some scavengers delved deep into its depths looking for valuable salvage. It was a dangerous location but rewarding on occasions. These scavengers often clashed with the ghouls and the people of Mount Tabor.
The chaos that permeated Portland since the Great War finally began to end after 2100 after scavengers finally learned to avoid the city. Things finally came to a sort of quiet.
The Dust Settles
As time passed, the initial violence that characterized the early days following the Great War lessened. Early scavengers decided the dangers Portland posed were not worth the trouble, and most of them decided to let the dead city be. That led to a small ghoul community being established in the ruined downtown of Portland while the people of Mount Tabor grew more isolated and paranoid.
The non-feral ghouls in Portland mostly congregated in the ruins of the Portland Art Museum. There, they established a little community that lived on the edge of a radioactive crater. The ghouls in the ruins of the Portland Art Museum often bickered whether they should establish a New-Age type commune or something similar to the communities of pre-War America, but they never really agreed on on a definitive choice. The ghouls mostly just carried on hobbies and routines in their little corner of Portland, hoping to not attract too much negative attention.
Meanwhile, the settlement on Mount Tabor, the only community of unmutated humans in Portland, puttered on. The people living there scavenged and farmed mutant animals to survive. It was a rough existence living near one of the most radioactive parts in the area, but that danger also guarded the community from many predators such as raiders and mutated carnivores. However, this also forced the little town to remain isolated from the outside and made them vulnerable to inbreeding. The only notable incident involving Mount Tabor in the early 2100s was a lone raider attack in 2117 which was unsuccessful.
Even as radiation still proved to be a danger to interlopers, many scavengers tried to make their way into the ruins of Portland. Most of these scavengers died in their attempts to exploit the dead, but stories of the pre-War riches stored within Portland began to circulate in the generations following the Great War. By 2160, Portland had built up a reputation as the next big place for scavengers in Cascadia as Seattle began to get emptied out. Settlement was still unsuccessful because of 'natural' obstacles nevertheless.
The Vault and the Mutant War
While scavengers and mutants roamed the wasteland above, the vault below Portland, Vault 6, persisted on its own. That was not to say life there was easy, with limited resources and internal conflicts, but the vault dwellers got by. Vault 9 was an experiment in what was essentially anarchic hyper-capitalism, where everything could be bought and sold. Everything was a commodity, including human beings. When Vault 9 opened, it was supposed to be an abject lesson to help build a more stable, orderly society. However, instead the vault opened while under the thumb of a greedy, murderous autocrat named Stone who had essentially 'beat the system' by becoming Overseer.
Vault 9 opened in 2194 to an unforgiving wasteland. Yet, the vault dwellers were quickly able to secure a safe zone around Vault 9's entrance. The vault dwellers immediately began sending scout teams into Portland's ruins. They found only more death and mutants. The vault dwellers considered whether they should just stay in Vault 9, but enough felt like they needed to stay on the surface that they did. The main concern of the vault dwellers was where to set down their Garden of Eden Creation Kits to begin agriculture. It took the vault dwellers almost ten years to acclimate to life on the surface. However, some vault dwellers did not really wait for the GECKS before they left the vault. A couple entrepreneurs from the vault made their way into Portland's ruins to look for new opportunities before the rest of Vault 9 emerged. That included starting new businesses on the surfaces scavenging and trading.
In 2203, the vault dwellers finally found an area, a pre-War city park, suitable for their GECKs. The Kits contained all the seeds, fertilizer, and other equipment needed to start a new settlement in a post-nuclear world after emerging from a Vault shelter. The vault dwellers, headed by Overseer Stone, quickly moved to colonize the surface, specifically taking up residence in the remnants of Portland's skyscrapers. Agriculture, even with the two GECKs, was difficult. Scavengers and feral ghouls harried the vault dwellers constantly, and the soil was harsh. Slaves were given the duty of farming while the vault dwellers protected the farms. Soon enough, the vault dwellers actually began importing slaves from outside Portland due to the high casualty rate from wasteland hazards. This rapidly turned uglier and uglier as the vault dwellers were forced to import more and more slaves to work their dangerous fields. These slaves were mostly bought from outside slavers with the vault dwellers rarely capturing their own slaves. Overseer Stone did so as to not antagonize nearby communities.
The GECKs began to pay dividends in the early 2210s as the vault dwellers began harvesting many bountiful crops. With extra food, the vault dwellers continued to expand from their origin in Vault 9. This expansion began to bring the vault dwellers into frequent conflict with scavengers in Mount Tabor and the ghouls holed up in the ruins of the Portland Art Museum. The vault dwellers also clashed with raiders in 2212, managing to repel them at the cost of their old overseer Stone. The next overseer, an aggressive playboy named Ronald August, was less cautious than his predecessor and more belligerent by far. Overseer August's first move was to effectively claim the entirety of Portland as the vault dwellers' potential property. This included both the people and locations.
Overseer August began his term by effectively waging a war of extermination on a scavver den in Portland International Airport. This was simply to secure the airport for strategic value. After wiping out the scavvers there, the vault dwellers set up an outpost at the airport and moved on. August's next target was the ruins of the Portland Art Museum, inhabited by many pre-War ghouls. The ghouls, shaken back to reality by the vault dwellers' attack, put up a good fight through creative means but were eventually scattered with their home destroyed. The vault dwellers stamped out the ghouls for being mutants, something the vault dwellers detested. This led to the apex of power for the former residents of Vault 9 in 2215.
At the height of the vault dwellers' power in 2215, their community in Portland's skyscrapers was named Polis by an exultant overseer and a rapturous populace. An explorer from the NCR named Tess was there to witness the settlement's naming. Polis, at that point, was a sprawling society spanning several ruined skyscrapers with advanced technology and effectively an army to protect it. Beneath the skyscrapers were heavily policed ruins and prosperous slave-farms with little of the 'filth' that was there before such as ghouls. Caravans regularly left Portland to trade not just slaves with the outside world. Some scavengers from Mount Tabor remained in the ruins of Portland, but they had to hide themselves while outside their settlements to prevent being enslaved or killed. The vault dwellers considered destroying Mount Tabor but saw it as too much of an issue sending so many soldiers across the ruins. Nevertheless, Mount Tabor felt the pinch of Polis's influence and many scavengers left in those years, scared their settlement might be next on the vault dwellers' hit-list. By 2221, Mount Tabor's population had halved since the founding of Polis. The vault dwellers' power in Portland seemed supreme.
However, the vault dwellers did not remain ascendant for long. In 2222, a sizable band of super mutants arrived on the outskirts of Portland trying to make their way north. Threatened by the presence of mutants in their territory, a patrol from Polis ambushed the super mutants near Oswego. The vault dwellers were annihilated by the super mutants though, and the mutants' leader Scipio decided that Portland would be their new home. This began the Mutant War, a conflict between the varying residents of Portland and super mutants that would go on to last decades.
Overseer August initially tried to contain the super mutants to the southern part of Portland but was foiled numerous times by Scipio and his band. Skirmishes in Portland persisted from 2222 to 2225, mostly resulting in stalemates. This lack of results enraged August, who in 2225 began offering freedom to slaves and citizenship to scavengers if they would assist Polis in fighting off the super mutants. August also moved to hire local mercenaries and repair relations with nearby settlements. This very quickly turned the tide of the Mutant War in Polis’s favor with the super mutants fleeing Portland for a time. The damage was already done, however. The war had significantly weakened Polis, and it would only take a small push to launch the vault dwellers into an abyss.
In the summer of 2226, a lone wanderer appeared at the gates of Polis asking for sanctuary from the dangers of the wasteland. The vault dwellers at the gates were uncertain whether to allow this stranger in, as outsiders besides the occasional caravaner and explorer avoided Polis, but in line August’s recent policies of reconciliation with the people of the wasteland, the man was let in. The stranger, named George J. Fisher II, was given Polis’s full hospitality and even got to talk with Overseer August about the settlement’s history. This fully went into Vault 9, the vault dwellers’ harsh early years, and their recent successes. Fisher seemed engrossed by this until he heard of Vault 9 and Polis’s toleration of slavery. That dramatically changed his attitude as he went to bed the last night of his stay in Polis.
That night, Fisher surprised the residents of Polis by unleashing hell upon them in order to free the slaves tending the field that their GECKs fertilized. Overseer August, alarmed that his guest was firing off shots, tried to approach Fisher and reason with him. Instead of talking to August, Fisher gunned the aged overseer down while babbling about slavery. Polis’s small army was virtually annihilated singlehandly by Fisher, who put his Desert Ranger training and Polis’s narrow hallways to good use. Fisher had freed all the slaves after slaying Polis's defenders and sent them south towards Fort Damion and Timber Heights. By the end of that night, Polis was devastated as more with half of the adult male population dead and all the agricultural slaves gone.
Polis and Portland descended into chaos once again as Vault 9's post-War society rapidly collapsed, thanks to Mr. Fisher. A sizable chunk of Polis's surviving men left the night it all happened, taking with them some women and children, and headed out into the ruins of Portland to eventually found the settlement Cornell. After the initial chaos died down a little, a female-majority council took leadership Polis instead of the traditional position of Overseer. This briefly stabilized things but subsequently fell apart with the return of Scipio and his band of super mutants. Scipio upon his return to Portland wanted to sack Polis to get the point across that he was the strongest now, and that is exactly what he did. Polis’s council initially tried to negotiate with the super mutants but Scipio was resolute: “Polis must be destroyed.” The council’s reluctance to fight enraged the former overseer’s son Alejandro, and he subsequently left with his own small group to found Oswego. The Rape of Polis that followed is a story that is not told even today among many in Portland. The super mutants under Scipio committed horrific crimes to the remaining residents of Polis, including torture, murder, and rape, in return for years of war. The remainder of Polis’s population either fled or stayed behind in the burnt shell of their once great community, bruised and ashamed of their failure.
The years following Polis’s collapse were quite formative for Portland. The various vault dwellers who survived Polis's fall fled in every direction, with quite a few of them being children. These lost children, without any sense of direction or guidance, mostly became tribals and scavengers. However, other vault dwellers managed to found some new settlements such as Cornell, Oswego, and Pittock Mansion. This breathed some life into Portland, even though it took Polis's fall to make it happen. Civilization began to advance little by little. However, this progress was hampered by Scipio and his band of super mutants who constantly preyed on human settlements. The super mutants even managed to wipe out the vault dwellers at Pittock Mansion and made that their base of operations in 2230. Meanwhile, Cornell and Oswego puttered on surviving while Mount Tabor finally received some much-needed support. Some New Disciple missionaries arrived in Portland around 2229 looking to convert some of the locals. Poking around the ruins of Polis, the missionaries were rebuffed by the superstitious scavengers residing there. The New Disciples, injured and desperate, sought refuge in Mount Tabor. The residents of Mount Tabor were more accepting than their counterparts in Polis and welcomed the New Disciples. This turned out to be quite advantageous for them. The missionaries began their presence by ministering to the community but soon decided they should build a mission there to serve as a sanctuary and a base of operations in Portland. This move worried many in Mount Tabor at the time, fearing it would attract the attention of Scipio's super mutants. However, their fears were unfounded and the mission soon flourished, providing education and other basic services to the area. As a result, Mount Tabor also prospered.
By 2235, people had begun to get quite fed up with the "super mutant problem". In late 2235, Alejandro from Oswego and several other community leaders unsuccessfully went on the offensive against Scipio's super mutants. Defeated outside Pittock Mansion, the little coalition nonetheless managed to weaken the super mutants' numbers and their potential for destruction. As a result, super mutant attacks in Portland lessened, and human societies were allowed to grow again. Caravans finally managed to have regular visits to Portland to cross over the Columbia around 2239. This newfound stability even attracted the attention of NCR prospectors and caravaners. This achievement did not lessen Alejandro and the residents of Oswego's desire to destroy the super mutants once and for all however. That was why they formed the Mutant Hunters, to combat the still-present threat of Scipio and his super mutants. The Mutant Hunters took extreme measures to hunt down super mutants and kill them, even if they were not involved with Scipio's band of muties.
At the same time, a parallel society of new tribals was developing the ruins of what was once Polis. The children abandoned in Polis's fall were growing and, with no parental guidance, had gone tribal. Their civilization was primitive and brutal, isolated from outside societies who feared the ruins radioactivity that had long ago gone away. However, they were able to hunt and gather quite effectively in the area they lived in, which had been fertilized by two Garden of Eden Kits. The tribals only interacted with the occasional scavver, who they often ate.
In the 2240s and 2250s, the two notable things happened: the Mutant Hunters forced Scipio out of Portland and NCR prospectors began coming in en masse. The Mutant Hunters began to make substantial progress against the super mutants in a battle near Mount Tabor in 2248, assisting the New Disciples in fending off the attackers. The failure of that attack disheartened the mutants greatly, especially Scipio. Soon enough, the Mutant Hunters were on the offensive against Scipio's super mutants. Pittock Mansion became a frequent flash-point of battle in those days as the Mutant War reached a low intensity in Portland, and the city knew peace again for a while. Eventually, Scipio abandoned his super mutants in Portland to escape north in 2251. He saw Portland's burgeoning human population as a threat he simply could not overcome. Around the same time, as the area became better known, NCR prospectors and caravaners began streaming into Portland. These men made a lot of money and brought a lot of money with them to places like Cornell and Oswego. However, their activities within the ruins also began to antagonize scavengers, tribals, and eventually the Mutant Hunters. The arrival of more trade also unfortunately attracted the attention of raiders, who without the limiting presence of Scipio and his super mutants began forming gangs in Portland at unprecedented rates beginning in the late 2250s.
The Mutant Hunters finally ended the Mutant War in 2258 with the defeat of the last notable super mutant group as the human threat within Portland rose. A powder keg of raiders, tribals, and scavengers was brewing to come and meet the growing NCR presence within Portland, and the results would be rather ugly.
Oregon Brushfire Wars
The Ruins War came to Portland in 2259. Tensions between NCR prospectors and local scavengers were something that Portland’s settlements avoided resolving as they did not want to get involved. So, war was more or less an inevitability.
On one side stood the NCR prospectors, glorified scavengers and rakes who had come north from NCR to scoop up any remaining salvage. They were well-equipped and well-supplied but were demonized as arrogant braggarts by Portland locals, depriving them of jsut about any allies in Portland besides some sympathies in trader settlements such as Cornell and Oswego. Meanwhile, on the other side stood a mass of Portland locals, an unlikely alliance of scavengers, tribals, raiders, and Mutant Hunters. This alliance was tied together by sheer dislike of NCR and led by the Free Man, the enigmatic scavenger who had originally rallied the alliance together. This local alliance enjoyed wide popular support in Portland in settlements and more disparate groups as most people wanted NCR influence out.
In 2259, the local alliance worked quickly after hearing word that war had begun in southern Oregon. NCR prospectors were forced to defend themselves at every turn and eventually were hemmed in at the Portland International Airport. At that point however, the local alliance was unable to finish the task and simply kept the prospectors hemmed in. At that point, the stalemate made Portland quiet again as caravans still passed through and people worked. However, things changed again as a vertibird landed in the airport which many in Portland's local alliance marveled at. A NCR emissary emerged from the vertibird and met with the alliance's leadership to negotiate an end to the war. Many of the tribals simply ran at the sight of the vertibird. The presence of the vertibird and an actual government official cowed the alliance despite the Free Man’s warnings that “peace now would resolve nothing”. Nevertheless, the alliance decided to make peace with NCR and its ilk, subsequently breaking up back into its previous smaller factions.
The unresolved problems the Ruins War caused further problems as the 2260s went on. Raiders became an increasingly common sight in Portland as more and more people saw robbing NCR caravans and prospectors as a way for getting revenge for their loss. These new raiders included a lot of former scavengers and some former tribals, both the groups most affected by the arrival of NCR prospectors. Meanwhile, the Mutant Hunters continued to hunt individual super mutants while also turning their guns against the recently-created raider gangs, who they saw as a threat to law and order. This put them vaguely on the side of NCR, who were also opposed to the raiders interfering with their trade. Also around this time, Oregon partisans who fiercely opposed NCR expansion also began popping up in Portland settlements, complicating things.
The situation in Portland rapidly deteriorated in the late 2260s with trade over Portland’s bridges becoming nigh impossible. Lines began to be drawn once again, this time with the tribals, scavengers, and some Oregon partisans under the umbrella of the Northwestern Alliance on one side and the Mutant Hunters and NCR on the other. This became even more defined when Cornell hosted the formation of the Northwestern Alliance (unwittingly) in 2266. The various settlements of Portland (besides Oswego who sided with the Mutant Hunters) were caught in the middle. Fighting with raiders had been going since the early 2260s but escalated into outright war in 2267. This war was much more brutal and dirty than the prior one in 2259, lasting three years instead of two. The New Disciples gained a lot of goodwill in this time by providing humanitarian aid to all sides of the conflict, trying to save as many people as they possibly could.
The Northwestern Alliance seemed on the verge of taking all of Portland a couple of times but never succeeded. The Mutant Hunters, better equipped and more experienced, consistently beat back assaults from larger forces, even when Stern's Raiders were present. The Mutant Hunters only real fear was if the Sons of Liberty diverted their attention and resources to Portland, which thankfully never happened. Also, the Mutant Hunters obsessive love of law and order and almost fascist methods assisting them in holding the settlements already under their protection/control.
The Battle of Portland was eventually won by the Mutant Hunters in 2270 by breaking the remaining Northwestern Alliance forces in the city. With that, the Mutant Hunters decided to join the Free Northwestern Army and bring the whole of Portland under their control. However, that would turn out be easier said than done.
Portland is the wake of the War of the Northwestern Alliance was a wreck. The Mutant Hunters, now the Free Northwestern Army, still had a pretty weak grip on Portland's ruins and had made many enemies siding with NCR. This meant cooperation between settlements in Portland and the FNA would be difficult, at least at first. The remnants of the Northwestern Alliance either fled or turned raider, adding to already prodigious raider population in Portland. This increased raider population worsened the situation for the FNA (and most everyone else in the city) with Portland virtually descending into chaos for much of the 2270s. No one was really safe outside the main couple of settlements.
The FNA, under the dynamic leadership of the “Cowboy General” Clint Bundy, began to slowly make gains against the raiders in the late 2270s and even secured the Jackson Bridge in 2278, allowing NCR traders to cross the Columbia River at Portland for the first time in nearly a decade. This put the FNA in a good position in Portland, but their quasi-fascist tactics, mutant bigotry, and erratic leadership still put them at odds with many settlements in Portland except for Oswego and a few other smaller ones. The settlements appreciated the FNA’s fight against the raiders but did not see the raiders as so big a threat they had to ally with the FNA outright. Instead, they preferred the protection of the newly-formed Snakebites under Jeanine Park who had no ulterior motives of taking over the city. Nevertheless, the conquest of the bridge in 2278 brought something of a status quo back to Portland. It even seemed, for a time, that a FNA takeover of Portland was inevitable if not soon. That changed again in the winter of 2285.
In the winter of 2285, Caesar Skull-Taker and Skull-Taker's Legion arrived from the east and soundly trounced numerous raiders in their advance before coming to the FNA. The Legion managed to badly bloody the FNA, even killing their leader Clint Bundy, but were unable to overrun all of Portland. So, Caesar Skull-Taker decided to set up court in an area densely populated by tribals and begin his war for the city. Victimized by raiders for years and forgotten by the FNA, hundreds of tribals and scavengers flocked to his cause. The balance of power had changed once again.
All this sudden bloodshed threw the FNA in Portland into a brief upheaval before they regained their composure with a new leader: General Virgo Clark. Clark, an outsider from NAP Territory, went to work immediately on what he saw was the problem: a lack of unity among Portland’s settlements. For years, the FNA in Portland had assumed they could overtake the city without the settlements’ support, but General Clark saw this as crazy talk. Initial negotiations were frosty but tempering the local FNA’s rhetoric proved successful in winning them several allies such as Cornell and Mount Tabor. Also, the threat of Skull-Taker’s Legion proved to be a blessing as well as curse, as many settlements were scared into the FNA’s arms in fear of a Legion takeover.
Meanwhile, raider groups in Portland were hunted down by all sides of the war. In particular, a raider boss named Vince was killed in 2286 through the cooperation of the FNA and the Snakebites. The number of raider gangs has declined but the ones that remain, led by men like Gremlin and Randy Milo, are hardscrabble and vicious.
In 2286, a large cargo ship ran aground in the Port of Portland. This event interested all groups in the city, who all sent people to investigate (though it was harder for many since the Port is in Legion territory). The ship even attracted the attention of some in the New California Republic, who afterwards sent reporters to learn about it. It turned out the ship had been run by Moro slavers who had been transporting exotic slaves and were quickly dispatched. The cargo ship was set aflame by Skull-Taker’s Legion and pushed out to sea.
Currently, Portland sits the edge of a knife. The city seems to be sitting in a comfortable stalemate right now but the two sides shifting fronts could potentially adversely affect thousands of people. The FNA is getting a lot of support from the NCR and caravans to dislodge Skull-Taker’s Legion while the Legion are determined to take over Portland at any cost. Both sides are willing to fight to the death, and as usual, the people of Portland are caught in the middle with raiders exploiting the chaos in between.
Portland is roughly defined by a northern border on the Columbia River and southwest border on the Willamette River. The ruins in the north are more chaotic, inhabited by both Skull-Taker's Legion and raiders. The southern part of Portland's ruins is mostly dominated by the FNA, though their hold of the settlements and ruins there is still not secure.
The FNA forces only have a weak political hold on the settlements they protect, even though some of them have been under their authority for almost twenty years. It is unclear whether the FNA (or Skull-Taker's Legion) will have any staying power, and Portland will just have to see who lasts longer.
Portland's economy has three major resources that fuel it: scavenged goods, water, and trade. Farming is not the norm in Portland's ruins and most settlements trade for their food, though that was not the case in the past. Scavengers are still a backbone to the economy, though their role is slowly shrinking as time goes on. Skilled laborers and caravaners meanwhile are becoming a more common sight as Portland is pulled further into the twenty third century.
The most common scavenged goods trafficked through Portland are ammunition, canned goods, and scrap electronics. Ammunition and weapons are notoriously recurrent in Portland, though their frequency can be overstated.
Known as a bastion of counterculture before the war, Portland has some similarities to its past self as well as some differences. The various communities in the ruins of Portland have a diversity of cultures which stem from Vault 9, not pre-War Portland. Only a few pre-War ghouls strive to maintain Portland's weird status. Meanwhile, the communities in the ruins have their own post-War culture developed due to more recent experiences like the arrival of super mutants, the destruction of original Vault 9 community, and the outbreak of the Oregon Brushfire Wars.
- "Keep Portland Weird!"
- ―Aloysius’s mantra
Aloysius Fenchurch is a Ghoul who has lived in Portland since before the Great War. Unconcerned with the factions and tribalism within the ruined city, his primary concern is ensuring that he remains on the cutting edge of everything around him. He has the amazing ability to spot a trend coming and hop onto it as fast as possible before it becomes widely known and popular. He will then be able to spread the news about this latest development while pointing out that he was into it before it was popular or well known. Be it artisan Brahmin cheese, hand-crafted Pipe weapons, ballistic-reinforced flannel shirts or whatever other new and amazing discovery he has made.
He is also committed to the idea of ensuring that Portland remains ‘weird’. Or, as he puts it, ‘not turning into another cookie-cutter picket fence wasteland with the same raiders, slavers, robots and super mutants as everywhere else.’
- "I will first reclaim Skull-Taker’s home here, then I will go beyond and reconquer all what was taken from us."
- ―Caesar Skull-Taker on his strategy
Caesar Skull-Taker is the leader of Skull-Taker's Legion and a tribal warlord. Some call him a prophet, some call him a warrior, some call him a maniac. The group, Skull-Taker's Legion, is his dream and he leads it as he sees fit. Any that oppose him have to deal with the business end of his mini-gun, particularly those who count themselves as part of "civilization". Consciously imitating Caesar’s Legion, Caesar Skull-Taker hopes to one day recreate his idol’s success in Cascadia.
Doctor César Juan Carlo Molina Casablancas
- "Please calm yourself thenor, I yam a legitimate physician credentialed at the finest university in Barthelona."
- ―Dr. Casablancas
Dr. Casablancas (originally Franklin Wright of Sweet Home, Oregon) is a real doctor by wasteland standards and a fake Spaniard by all standards. Tired of dealing with charity cases and getting strong-armed into helping raiders, he gladly took an opportunity to get on the Snakebites payroll in 2280. He has been on private retainer since that time, treating the mercenaries or anyone else Park the Tool tells him to. As part of his Spaniard ruse, he maintains a particular look he believes to be highly authentic: slicked back black hair, a pencil mustache, and pince-nez glasses.
- "For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
- ―Farrakhan reciting Matthew 19:12 to himself
An unlikely character, Farrakhan is one of the New Disciples in Portland and a rather simple-minded super mutant. Farrakhan's first memories are emerging from the massive FEV vats in Mariposa Military Base with only his name and a fanatical devotion to the Master. Farrakhan was a member of the Master's Army for years, fighting wastelanders and ghouls in numerous battles. Particularly, Farrakhan killed numerous ghouls at Necropolis even though it made him feel horrible. Everything changed for Farrakhan after the arrival of the Vault Dweller, the fall of the Master, and the dissolution of the Master's Army. The Master's death left Farrakhan without a purpose, and he did not want to keep on fighting for the Unity unlike some other remnants of the Master's Army. Making his way north alone, Farrakhan had a rough time of it making his way through the wasteland. The super mutant eventually holed up in a ruin in Oregon and lived as a hermit for a couple of years without a purpose. That was until the arrival of a Christian missionary in 2230 to Farrakhan's home who convinced him to believe in something again: God.
Farrakhan's conversion to Christianity brought him hope for the first time in a long time, and he quickly asked the missionary if he could join the man’s order. The missionary told Farrakhan that he was a member of the New Disciples and offered to take the super mutant back to his mission in Portland. The two made their way back to Portland to rejoin the New Disciples there. Upon arriving back in the New Disciples mission at Mount Tabor, Farrakhan immediately decided to join the evangelical organization. Farrakhan continued to work diligently as a New Disciple for the next fifty years or so as many came and went through the mission. The work Farrakhan did mostly had to do with the mission’s protection and moving heavy materials. Today, Farrakhan continues to work happily at the Mount Tabor mission for the New Disciples and is a good friend of the current leader, Jenny. He welcomes the stability the FNA brings, even though many ex-Mutant Hunters would not hesitate to head-shot Farrakhan if given the chance. He views raiders and Skull-Taker’s Legion as threats to the New Disciples’ safety and therefore evil. Farrakhan also abhors killing due to his experiences in the Master’s Army and tries not to kill those who attack the New Disciples unless he has to.
- "May be tribal, but you cannot swindle me!"
- ―Fleet Foot to an opportunistic scavenger
Fleet Foot is a tribal scavenger who survived her tribe being assimilated and now lives around Mount Tabor. A descendant of the vault dwellers who emerged from Vault 9, Fleet Foot was born into a primitive tribe living in the ruins of Portland around 2266. Fleet Foot was born into the turbulent environment of the War of the Northwestern Alliance with several factions fighting for control. That included Fleet Foot's tribe, cannibalistic Oregon tribals, who supported the Northwestern Alliance. However, Fleet Foot never fought for the alliance, only around to witness its collapse and with that the fall of Portland into chaos. Fleet Foot's mother was killed by a FNA trooper in 2270 which drove her father to drink even as she was growing up. Fleet Foot mostly spent her time away from her father in Portland's ruins, scavenging and picking through garbage. The tribal lifestyle had begun to change as the tribe was forced to confront their own shortcomings.
The tribe Fleet Foot grew up in was changed forever with the arrival of Skull-Taker's Legion in 2285. The tribal army overwhelmed much of the FNA in the northern part of Portland, which pleased many tribals. That eventually resulted in an emissary arriving at the tribals' camp to offer them a place in Skull-Taker's Legion. The tribal elders seemed eager to join up while many of the lower-ranking in the tribe, including Fleet Foot, who were still cautious about Skull-Taker's Legion. The division within the tribe did not stop the tribal elders from joining up with Skull-Taker's Legion. This left a couple of tribals like Fleet Foot behind, left with only their morals and memories. Continuing her life as a scavenger, Fleet Foot made her way south until she made her way to Mount Tabor. There, she has lived as a scavenger for about two years gathering scrap and food. Her tribal origins, bizarre appearance, and sympathies to Skull-Taker's Legion isolate Fleet Foot from many in Mount Tabor. Fleet Foot has managed to fend off any advances by drunken FNA troopers, but her being a tribal has led to the FNA watching her for different reasons. She could be more assimilated, but Fleet Foot is too proud to abandon her heritage for a chance of success.
- "You want to get something done around here? You got to go through me."
- ―Mayor Romano’s initial greeting to the FNA
Giuseppe Romano has been called many things over the course of his life, from a scoundrel to a huckster and worst of all, a politician. Currently the mayor of Cornell, Romano is admittedly rather corrupt but is still beloved by the people. He still has their best interests at heart. Born in Cornell and the son of a shoemaker, Giuseppe Romano has an ambition and rose in power through being the crony for other more powerful figures at the time. Romano had already been a bookkeeper, a goods inspector, and a secretary to the mayor when he became mayor himself in 2280. He has remained in office since by currying favor with the FNA for continued protection, promoting trade with caravans, and making historic connections with other settlements around Portland. Romano’s ego and whetted Napoleon complex make things hard sometimes, but no one except a couple of raiders have died directly because of Romano’s actions yet. In current times, Mayor Romano is still entertaining the FNA at hands’ length while also making some caps on the side.
- "FUCKING KILL! Give me ‘is skull, I want to see how far I can hi’it."
- ―Gremlin desecrating the dead while high
Gremlin is a vicious raider boss whose small raider gang is based out of Government Island so as to control one of the bridges over the Columbia River. One of Portland's last raiders, Gremlin is trying to keep a balancing act between the Free Northwestern Army and Skull-Taker's Legion while also having some rather sadistic fun on the side. Born to some Portland scavengers in 2260, Gremlin was brought up among the chaos of the War of the Northwestern Alliance. FNA troopers, Oregon tribals, and scavenger turned Oregon partisans all clashed in the streets while people like Gremlin ran about just trying to survive. Many of his friends died but fortunately his parents survived, mostly thanks to help from the New Disciples. One of Gremlin's better childhood memories was meeting Stern's Raiders in 2269. Still a wide-eyed child, Gremlin idolized these heroic figures as close to gods. That was until shortly after when all of Stern's Raiders were wiped out at the Battle of Black Peak. When the War of the Northwestern Alliance wound down, the FNA in Portland were too exhausted to really enforce their will over the city, and it fell into darkness. Gremlin became a mischievous little thief to survive, but he still had a heart. Gremlin's parents were barely scraping by in 2274 and in order to survive while feeding his other three siblings, they pushed Gremlin out on the street. The following fight for survival changed Gremlin into the beast that he is today. In 2275, Gremlin was recruited by a raider gang to attack the caravans that were still trying to brave Portland's bridges over the Columbia River. Gremlin's raiding led him to great moral degeneration as he took part in numerous examples of torture, rape, and murder.
Gremlin eventually became the boss of the Government Island Gang in 2280 and entered his leadership with a bang, burning his way through a large part of the ruins to usher in his ascendancy. The rest of Gremlin's time as boss was a lot quieter, with caravaners and wastelanders continuously avoiding Government Island. Life has been getting rather boring lately for Gremlin, and he is just about ready to take some risks to get back on track. An immoral raider boss, Gremlin cares little for anyone besides himself. He would sell his own mother if it would save his own skin. However, this selfishness does not reduce Gremlin's combat skill, and he is possibly to most skillful melee fighter in Portland. He is very recognizable due to his scavenged raider armor and radiation-twisted fire axe. Gremlin has no real inclinations towards factions within Portland since he is mostly too high on psycho and jet to care.
Commander Jeanine Park
- "One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests."
- ―Commander Park’s favorite quote from her favorite author John Stuart Mill
The mercenary commander of the Snakebites, Jeanine Park is a severe personality with a massive chip on her shoulder. Jeanine Park is a former member of the Sons of Liberty similarly to Virgo Clark, but she left on her own accord, unlike Clark. She went on to form the mercenary group the Snakebites in 2278 to protect vulnerable settlements. At the time, the FNA was still very weak, and raiders still had a heavy presence in the city. Jeanine has built up her reputation and her mercenary group since that time. The rise of both FNA and Skull-Taker's Legion have led to Jeanine's situation becoming more complicated. She has had to cooperate with General Clark, who she detests, several times in recent years but still tries to avoid conflict between the two largest factions in Portland. Jeanine's austere attitude, methodical outlook, and principled leadership have kept the Snakebites together but also make her rather friendless. Her cold exterior and robotic leg have led to her gaining a nickname "Park the Tool", sometimes misconstrued as “Park the Tool in Me”. Her time away from the Sons of Liberty has worn on her over time however well she may hide it. Nevertheless, Jeanine fights on into the future with no thought of returning to NAP Territory.
- "They don't call me the master of machines for nothing!"
- ―Nestor Forbush
Nestor Forbush is a figure in what passes for Portland's criminal underground. More or less a raider, Forbush operates a very small-scale and directed one-man operation. Using his own mechanical skills and knowledge, he has built himself a small but capable "gang" of customized Automatrons that he uses to steal high-tech equipment from whoever currently possesses it. When not doing that, he uses them to explore ruins for him and recover technology for him to use without risking his own exposure to danger. His exact goals are somewhat unclear, but so far he seems to be driven by a desire to acquire technology for the sake of it.
Forbush would like to get his hands on Jeanine Park's mechanical leg so he could better understand the technology behind it as well as discover where she got it in the first place.
- "You see this Leon? This is a pre-War electric engine, used to let people zip around all over the country before the war. It’s true, I swear."
- ―Patch talking to his children
Patch Schmidt is a life-wary scavenger who lives in Cornell while poking through the ruins all around Portland. He has little concern about the factions throughout Portland besides the survival of his family and caps. Born at the Portland International Airport in 2256, Patch was the third in a family of scavvers. Patch followed his parents' lessons and stayed out of trouble even as the Oregon Brushfire Wars consumed Portland. His family's friendship with the Mutant Hunters and then the FNA helped Patch out. After Portland settled down into relative stability in the 2270s, Patch got married and had his own family in Cornell. He currently lives there today, a traditional family man who lives his life as many others in Portland do (a rather boring existence someone like Aloysius Fenchurch would scorn). His loyalty to his family is his best attribute, while Patch's fear of change is his eternal weakness.
- "He's banned. Now go kill him and take his stuff."
- ―Randy Milo on even-handed moderation
Randy Milo is a raider who is active in Portland. The leader of the powerful Murder Machine gang, he was already a notorious figure. However, in the last three years he has gathered considerable infamy (and some degree of influence) through his other activities.
Milo is one of the moderators of the local Raid-It hub, and as such, is responsible for supervising its content and users. A heavy handed tyrant, he rules the local hub with an iron fist, cracking down on any slight or breaches that he finds, real or imagined. Those that breach the rules or cross him for whatever reason will find themselves forcibly ejected from the channel, as he sends members of the Murder Machine gang to kill them and take their stuff as a way of administering what he feels as being ‘fair and reasonable’ discipline.
Despite this, he tolerates the non-raider Ghouls who use the network, largely due to his own love of heirloom tatos, rugged outdoor wear and independent local craftsmen.
- "Lock up your toasters, here comes the Robosexual."
- ―A Snakebite merc, slandering Roscoe
Roscoe (no family name) is a handyman who keeps the Snakebites armor patched and guns oiled. Though not strictly an expert on cybernetics, he has enough of a knack that Jeanine Park relies on him to keep her mechanical leg tuned. Because of the extensive time he sees Park alone, false rumors began to circulate: first that he and Park were romantically involved, that he was only attracted to her because of her leg, and that he's a deviant who is attracted to machines. Roscoe takes these rumors in stride, responding to mockery with good humor.
- "Dignity and an empty satchel is only worth the satchel."
- ―A piece of advice Sharon gave a customer
Sharon Futterman, originally a caravaner from California, has become something of an entrepreneur by settling down in Oswego and opening up Café 13. If you want something, she can get it for you. Sharon arrived in Portland around 2281 when the Oregon Brushfire Wars were winding down. She felt that she could make a lot of money peddling NCR products on the frontier, and her insider connections help her do this. Inserting herself into Oswego's community and buying property there, Sharon set up Café 13 as a 'legitimate' business. Most of Sharon's caps have really been made through her more clandestine dealings such as chem dealing, gun running, and human trafficking. Sharon has made a great deal of money over the last couple of years, mostly through helping out the FNA. However, Sharon has a surprisingly low opinion of the FNA and is quite ready to leave Café 13 behind if her life is threatened. Sharon, a slippery individual, is not really that concerned about the factional situation in Cascadia besides what will keep her safe, happy, and wealthy.
- "Name’s Slime. Whadya want?"
- ―Slime’s typical greeting
Once a soldier in the United States Army, the ghoul Slime has come a long way since the Great War. Slime was born Andrew Boucher in 2056 to French-Canadian parents who lived in Maine. Living around Portland, Maine, Andrew joined the Army early in the flower of his youth to see the world. He was only in China for a couple of months before being pulled back to the States for concerns about domestic safety. This was disappointing for Andrew, but he followed orders. Andrew was deployed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before the war came to America.
When the bombs fell, Andrew survived the initial blasts in an Army bomb shelter. Andrew, donning power armor, emerged from the bomb shelter in 2078 to enforce America's will on the wasteland. That did not work out as expected. Andrew’s unit was quickly overwhelmed by the sick and dying begging for anything to survive on. The remaining soldiers, working with the National Guard, attempted to remain steely-hearted to survive on their own scant supplies. Empathetic to the survivors’ plight, Andrew secretly gave some children supplies and told them to leave Portland.
Only a month or so after emerging from their fallout shelter, the soldiers began experiencing the effects of radiation poisoning and mass desertion. Harried on all sides by men, beasts, and weather twisted by radiation, Andrew decided it was time to leave in early 2078, along with his power armor. His former squad-mates, now well on their way to becoming ghouls and quite mad, chased Andrew for days after his desertion until he lost them in the ruins of Portland’s heavily irradiated Central City. There, among the molten slag of fallen skyscrapers and cracked streets, Andrew nearly went insane.
However, Andrew Boucher did not for one reason: he found a live baby bawling in the center of the radiation in Portland. This flabbergasted the ghoul, who assumed no non-mutant could ever survive the location’s unforgiving environment. Not wanting the babe to die from exposure, Andrew scooped up the baby and took it back to safety.
Finding that baby gave Andrew a purpose again, another goal besides just surviving. He had to raise this child and see her survive to adulthood. Andrew did as well as he could for child care in the wasteland and in that time also learned of his own near immortality. The girl, named Leslie, grew up to be a bright, beautiful teenager. That was when the complications began. Things began stirring within Andrew that had not stirred for years. That scared Andrew greatly, which along with the knowledge he would most likely outlive Leslie led to him eventually leaving his adopted daughter in 2098 to roam the wider wasteland. Many in Portland already loathed Andrew for his monstrous appearance, so he rationalized leaving as making things better for Leslie. Leslie was confused on why her power-armored guardian wanted to abandon her, and the two left each other on bad terms.
Andrew roamed the wasteland for nearly fifty years after leaving Portland, taking part in numerous adventures all over the wasteland. That was with thoughts of returning to Portland always in the back of his mind. After gaining numerous new experiences, Andrew Boucher also gained a new name: Slime. This was a epithet thrown at Andrew innumerable times in 2111 that he actually adopted to put his pre-War past behind him. The name stuck after that.
Slime came back to Portland in 2146, feeling that it had long enough. He had not really expected Leslie to be still alive, but Slime was mortified to find out she had died in 2101, only three years after he left her. I failed. This sent Slime on a long string of chem and alcohol binges. That ended with a couple of people dead, but Slime was still alive to his chagrin.
Since returning back to Portland, Slime has lived the life of a hard-boiled mercenary. He still has morals of a sort but they definitely degraded from their pre-War ideals. Slime, however, his name might imply, is not really an unsavory character just a little coarse and willing to get his hands dirty. He has some friends within circles of other mercs in Portland but nothing lasting, since he will no-doubt outlive most of them. His status as a pre-War ghoul in power armor makes him interesting to many curious individuals, though Slime rarely ever entertains their requests for stories and instead asking them if they have a job for him.
General Virgo Clark
- "Practicality is what wins wars."
- ―General Clark on ethics
A former Son of Liberty and raider, General Virgo Clark of the Free Northwestern Army has come a long way since leaving NAP Territory. He is now the most powerful man in Portland. Clark took the helm of general of FNA forces in the Portland area after the violent death of the venerable General Clint Bundy in 2285. General Clark's rather opportunistic but personable approach to leading his troops has clashed with the more traditional FNA in Portland who used to be Mutant Hunters. He is still adjusting to his larger leadership role while stoking his resentment towards the Sons of Liberty. Luckily, Clark's rather gregarious and practical personality has smoothed things out quite a bit and certainly helped the FNA's relations with various settlements in Portland. His current goal is to break the power of Skull-Taker's Legion and unite Portland under the rule of the Free Northwestern Army. His stance on the New California Republic is skeptical if not outright hostile, again setting him apart from many others in the FNA.
Columbia River Bridge
One of the two remaining bridges in Portland that still span the Columbian River, the Columbia River Bridge was built in 1908 as a means to carry irrigation water pipelines across the Columbia River. The bridge survived the Great War in relatively good shape, but it has grown rather unstable as years of caravan traffic passed over it. Currently, the bridge is held by Skull-Taker's Legion who guard it jealously. Ironically, them not letting traffic over the bridge has more or less prevented it from falling apart on its own.
Columbia River Gorge
Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River, of which only some is within the boundaries of Portland. Extending roughly from the confluence of the Columbia with the Deschutes River in the east down to the eastern reaches of the Portland metropolitan area, the area is mostly inhabited by homesteaders and Oregon tribals. The part of the river gorge near Portland is mostly inhabited by members of Skull-Taker's Legion, who have a couple of small villages there. It used to be a caravan route before the arrival of Skull-Taker's Legion and some caravans still occasionally come through.
Cornell is one of the largest settlements in Portland, a hub of scavengers and caravaners. One of the communities to emerge from the remnants of Vault 9, Cornell gained enough power to fend off the raiders and mutants living in Portland. Over the years, Cornell has gained something of an entrepreneurial flair. Currently, Cornell is vaguely under the protection of the Free Northwestern Army, who rarely show up. The town has secure walls and a sound militia that protects the people of Cornell from the dangers of the wasteland.
The Jackson Bridge, once known as the Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge, is one of the two bridges over the Columbia left in Portland and the more stable one at that. However, the bridge has the bad luck to be occupied by one of the last raider gangs in Portland, a motley band led by the sadistic raider boss Gremlin. The raiders have fortified the bridge and keep it under close watch, knowing its value to caravaners. If the raiders are in good mood one day, they might even let a caravan cross over the bridge in exchange for a bribe. Otherwise, the Jackson Bridge is closed for caravan traffic.
Government Island is the island that the Jackson Bridge crosses over, and it is under the control of the same raider gang that police the bridge (and who owe their name to the island). The Government Island Gang has set up small shacks and camps all over Government Island, their base of operations when raiding the rest of Portland. The island’s interior is home to a small brahmin-ranching operation the raiders have been running to have meat year-round.
Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden is a strangely beautiful place, even if its titular garden has been dead since the Great War. The exotic trees that once peopled the guardian are not alive but are still there, in the form of petrified trunks and limbs reaching for the sky like the hands of dying men asking God for forgiveness. The garden is a frequent haunt for ghouls, feral and not feral, who seem to like the calmness of the dead trees.
Mount Tabor is a scavver town mainly based around the dormant volcano Mount Tabor and the Mount Tabor Mission of the New Disciples. Mount Tabor emerged soon after the war, a community built by refugees who fled to the mountain for safety from radiation and looters. Mount Tabor became something of a bright light in the long night after the war but stagnated as the years went on, with many of its residents fleeing in the early 2200s because of the predations of vault dwellers of Vault 9. The town saw a rebound however with the establishment of the Mount Tabor Mission by the New Disciples, a Christian evangelical group with a humanitarian calling that is unsurprisingly rare in the wasteland. With the help of the New Disciples through education, medicine, and faith, Mount Tabor has survived its adversities. Today, it is still mostly a scavver town and protected by the FNA like many other nearby settlements in Portland.
The settlement Oswego is a more urban community in the southern part of Portland, benefiting greatly from caravans from the south and FNA protection. A settlement founded by vault dwellers and the original home of the Mutant Hunters, Oswego has been a militant community for a long time and has made an transition to being the headquarters of the FNA in Portland. This has led to Oswego being fortified quite considerably in recent years to guard against the FNA's enemies.
Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style château located in West Hills just southeast of Portland. Having switched hands numerous times and sustained innumerable attacks, the mansion has remained in relatively good condition for all the action it has seen. Pittock Mansion is very defensible and stands over numerous homesteads that have repeatedly been made into fiefdoms. Currently, Pittock Mansion is under the thumb of a raider-turned FNA sergeant named Jackboot who only recently joined the FNA's fold so as not to get stamped out. In exchange, Jackboot continues to hold Pittock Mansion and its surrounding environs as his own kingdom of sorts.
Polis is the ruin of the civilization the remnants of Vault 9 built. A collection of skyscrapers in the northern section of Portland, Polis was chosen to serve as the receptacle of a post-War society. This failed due to attacks by super mutants and the actions of a lone wanderer, splintering the once great community apart. After the fall of the vault dwellers, their descendants descended into isolated tribalism until Skull-Taker's Legion took over that part of Portland. Now, Polis stands empty besides the occasional scavver den, remaining tribal band, or Legion patrol.
Portland International Airport
The Portland International Airport is a vast ruin in the southern side of the Columbia River that once served as Portland's premier airport. The airport took quite a beating after the war but did not remain radioactive for very long. As a result, the location soon became a den for scavengers, mutants, and tribals. It has been frequent target of the Mutant Hunters due to a small number of super mutants residing there. Now, there are no super mutants at the airport due to the presence of Skull-Taker's Legion who now occupy the area. Caesar Skull-Taker has made a personal fortress out of several wrecked planes he has stacked beside each other. He hopes to make a fortress to rival the Old World's constructs.
The origin of much of Portland's current population, Vault 9 now stands empty. The vault dwellers of Vault 9 left their vault in the early 2200s to build a new civilization similar to Vault City with a more capitalistic edge. This succeeded a while until they were shattered by a wandering stranger, and integrated with the rest of the wasteland. Now, the vault dwellers' descendants could not even tell you the vault's experiment. Currently, the vault is open but practically falling apart due structural failure. Scavvers and raiders have used the vault since the departure of its original occupants, but the arrival of Skull-Taker's Legion has emptied it out for good it seems.