- "At first sight, Red Sand isn't all that different from the other settlements one may encounter, except the fact that it's much bigger, of course. But if you stay long enough and wait 'till the booze kicks in, then you'll fall in love with it. Just don't forget to go to Doc' Morty's office afterwards, especially when you ordered a bottle with three X's on it, because, damn...that's some nasty shit."
- ―Richard Almay
|Location:||to the south of Denver, Colorado|
Red Sand is a busy trading town and an important landmark for those who wish to prepare themselves before entering the ruins of nearby Denver, Colorado a.k.a Dog City. Those who seek to do business with violence here, is quickly thrown out or shot by the vigilant cowboys who call themselves the Rangers. Whilst the outskirts of the city are well-maintained and clean, with only the occasional gust of red sand flying through an open door or window, the center of the city is the home of several bums and vagrants who had gone to Dog City, were robbed by raiders and then went back to Red Sand to seek a home. Scattered throughout the town, one can encounter lots of saloons, general stores, farms and Molerat ranches which provide everything the inhabitants of Red Sand need for their comfy living habits, which have bettered since their grandparents left the tunnels of Narrow and joined forces with the Mud Folk tribe.
Before the Great War, the village of Red Sand was known as Conifer, a small and not very important city located only a few miles southwest of the capital of Colorado, Denver. About Denver: Denver is a wreck. It was in the middle of a building boom shortly before the war, as many new jobs were opening there the city was swollen to bursting. Most of the construction was housing for these immigrants. When the war with China started, resource rationing occurred and suddenly the construction workers didn't have anything to build with and weren't getting paid. Union riots and strikes occurred because the city couldn't pay and the federal government wouldn't step in to help. When Mexico and the Great Midwest Commonwealth started to suffer food shortages, Denver was hit hard because of its high population. Food rationing began. Food riots started because of the rationing, and some buildings were set on fire.
The National Guard was called in to contain the rioting, using InstaPens (aka "bullpens") to contain and imprison rioters. Some people deliberately attacked police and National Guard troops so they would be imprisoned and fed. Rioters, National Guard personnel who disobeyed orders, and other military folk who refused to help contain the riots were sent west and east. Then an outbreak of the New Plague hit the city. Rioters burned down large parts of the city in their fear of contamination and anger at their treatment. Many panicked and fled the city by car, clogging the freeways when they ran out of gas and trapping everyone behind them. (Though this is debatable considering the restriction of use of fossil fuels and the war with China over the last oil. It is, however, possible that there were still a few people who were willing to pay large amounts for a little fuel rather than the $200,000 needed to buy a nuclear-generated vehicle.) And then the bombs fell, destroying some of what was left and killing everyone who had managed to live through everything else.
During the War
The villagers of Conifer were spared of rioting and any direct nuclear impacts, but instead, many were killed in the radiation sent forth by the bombs that hit nearby Denver. Those that survived, stayed inside, hiding inside their homes and basements and waited until the tremors stopped. The few people that were able to flee from Denver and the nearby villages managed to get as far as Conifer, where they mostly crashed into one of the many fallen trees of the forest that surrounded the village.
The Mud Folk (2077-2110)
The survivors of Conifer soon left their homes and went into the forest. These people were able to live on the things they found among the trees, and some of them were tasked to hunt the local wildlife. One generation later, the descendants of the once civilized villagers had changed into nothing more than simple barbarians who lived inside shabby, rudimentary cottages. These barbarians eventually formed a tribe and they named themselves the 'Mud Folk'.
Mud Folk tribe expansion (2110-2167)
Most of the survivors from the villages around Denver seek shelter in the forest, where there was much less radiation than elsewhere. These survivors mostly ended up becoming a part of the Mud Folk, who were eager to expand, because more numbers meant more protection against the many mutated predators that stalked the tribal villages. As the tribe grew, so did the need for food. And since the Mud Folk had almost completely forgotten everything about farming and growing their own food, because they had managed to survive for many decades by simply scavenging ruins, they weren't able to supply the needed food. Some of the tribal villages even resorted to cannibalism when there was nothing else to eat. These events threatened the survival of the entire Mud Folk tribe, and a number of tribals even left the forest in search for other food sources.
Narrow tunnel-collapse in 2167
In 2167, something happened in the settlement of Narrow and many of its citizens fled south. These people eventually stopped at the ruins of Conifer, where they were greeted by the Mud Folk. The tribe told them about the cannibals who lived in the forest, and that they wouldn't be allowed passage to the south. Since they had nowhere else to go, the survivors of Narrow decided to stay and a peaceful relationship was forged between the civilized and the tribals.
Red Sand (2167-....)
As time passed, the people of Narrow taught the Mud Folk how to grow their own crops and how to tame wild animals to provide meat and fur. Small farms and several wells were built, which provided the people with enough food and water to thrive. The settlement eventually became a trading hub and resupply station for many travelers heading north to scavenge the ruins of Denver. It was in this period that the name Red Sand was given to the town, which came from the red sand that the town was built on.
After the beginning of the new century, a police force was created to ensure the safety of the citizens of Red Sand, especially against the tribal Mud Folk who still lived in the nearby forest. They were called the Rangers. In 2228, a bunch of travelers grouped together and formed the Church of the Wanderers, a religious organization who claimed that traveling the wasteland and helping those in need would get them into heaven.
Most of the citizens of Red Sand go to the Church of the Wanderers, but most of them don't come for any kind of salvation, but for the free food and water that is given away at the end of each ceremony. To get through the long, hot days, the people of Red Sand keep themselves busy with several self-invented card games and other trivia they collect and consider useful enough.
As for those that do have a job, as a farmer, merchant or guard, there's nothing more refreshing than gather with some friends and have a drink from one of the many stills that provide the town with the liquor. Also considered a fun way to pass the time, and to tell stories, is playing music. There are no fancy instruments in the town, but the villagers are happy enough to listen to the sounds of a simple banjo built with scrap or just an old harmonica.
To ensure a constant food supply, many bums are often offered a job to work on the fields around the town, where things such as watermelons, carrots, parsnip, chamomile, and thyme are grown. Because of the herbs, the fields around Red Sand are often very colorful and pleasant to watch. Most of the meat comes from the many Molerat and Brahmin ranches which are managed by wealthy merchants who can afford to ask a high price for their products since the town's economy would probably collapse without the support of their money.
There is always trading being done with other settlements, and sometimes even entire businesses are bought by the ranchers of Red Sand. These fusions have led to the point where there only a couple of large ranching businesses competing against each other for control of the meat market. The Fang Farmers' business is undoubtedly the largest of these ranching companies since they have a large production network spread all around the region surrounding Red Sand and the ruins of Denver, where many, often small, farming settlements have changed the countryside into acres upon acres of farmland and Brahmin pastures.
Although not a political party, the Red Sand Rangers have been the guardians and representatives of the town for as long as most people can remember. The Rangers have always managed to settle arguments between the ranching companies, and every time raiders surrounded the town, the Rangers always saved the day. Because of the respect Red Sand's citizens have for the Rangers, they consider the leader of the Rangers to be the leader of the town as well. The town's Sheriff is also the Mayor, which means that he can vindicate as well as execute. In the first years of the town, there were a couple of Sheriffs who abused this position of power to gain profit for themselves, and thus, a political party was created. Since then, any choice the Sheriff wants to make, has to be approved first.
Old Conifer was located along the U.S. 285, a big road that led to Denver. Seen from above, the city could be divided into 2 parts located left and right of the highway. The post-War town of Red Sand is primarily located to the left of the now ruined highway. The Rangers sometimes separate the town into 3 different parts, in order to make finding each other easier. These parts are: the Resource Center (the town's trading hub), the Farmlands and Almaya (named after the Sheriff's family, where Ranger HQ is located)
Narrow: Folks from Red Sand mostly try to avoid going near Narrow, and only a handful of people dare to do business with the raider gangs. There are actually stories about Narrow's deep tunnels, which are used to frighten the younger people of Red Sand. Although they aren't a whole lot better, the citizens of Red Sand look down upon the raider gangs and rely on the Rangers' protection to scare off any raider that finds himself too close to the town.