Zug Island
Zug Island
General Information
Location:Detroit Wasteland
Notable Individuals:*King Zug
Factions:Zug Island Super Mutants
Notable events:*Super Mutant colonisation
  • Battle of Zug Island
Current status:Super Mutant fortress

"If the air, land, and water don’t get you, the Super Mutants will"
―Stan Wendell

Zug Island is an island located on the southern limits of the Detroit Wasteland. Heavily industrialised before the war, the island was also heavily polluted. After the war, it fell into ruin and has become hazardous to human life. Now it is inhabited by an aggressive tribe of Super Mutants that threaten the surrounding area.



Originally a marsh-filled peninsula at the mouth of the River Rouge, it served as an uninhabited Native American burial ground for thousands of years. Upon European arrival, the land was incorporated into Ecorse Township, making up the very northeast corner of the township. The beginning of interest in developing the land came when Samuel Zug came to Detroit from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1836 to make his fortune in the furniture industry with the money he earned as a bookkeeper.

Over the next two and a half centuries, the Zug Island (as it was named) became a centre of industrial activity. Starting in the early 20th century, the island became home to steelworks that took advantage of its location for the shipping of raw material and refined product. Other companies joined them over time, turning the island into a maze-like mess of massive churning factories and refineries.

By the outbreak of the Great War, Zug Island was heavily industrialised and home to a number of different companies. Operating with minimal oversight, these companies left the island as well as the surrounding land and water heavily polluted. Deemed to be vital industries by the US Government, the Island was patrolled by army soldiers in order to ensure that production continued even as the city was falling apart around it.


Zug Island was near-missed by at least one Chinese warhead; while it was not ground zero, much of the island’s structures were heavily damaged by the blast. Furthermore, it was saturated with radioactive fallout that only added to the existing pollution. Between these two elements, most of the island’s population were killed either instantly or within the first few months after the war. A few survived, only to be transformed into feral ghouls.

Zug Island Machinery

Some of the machinery on Zug Island

Despite the extensive pre-war ruins and the presence of plenty of technology and materials that would be seen as lucrative to scavengers, the island remained largely untouched for over a century after the war. Much of this was due to how heavily polluted the island was, even decades after the war. Lingering toxins and radiation meant that simply stepping onto the island was a potential death sentence for the unwary. The decaying structures and presence of feral ghouls merely added to the hazards.

As such, it was not until 2203 that the island was inhabited again. A group of nomadic Super Mutants arrived in the Detroit Wasteland, having been apparently driven East by the Brotherhood of Steel. Discovering the island and finding it to be mostly uninhabited, the group chose to settle there rather than continue moving, protected from the pollution and radiation by their enhanced physiologies. Save for a short, bloody purge of the remaining ferals, the Mutants met no initial opposition to their presence.

Despite the security of the island, the Super Mutants knew that they could not survive on just what they found on the island. In short order, they were venturing out from the island into the Wasteland, gathering food (Humans, Ghouls, and other animals) and other supplies in order to sustain their lives. Their presence proved to be a shock to the people of the Wastelands, who had never seen or even heard of these gigantic creatures before, and were largely unprepared to fight them off. Only a lack of numbers prevented the Super Mutants from expanding their presence.

Organisation of nearby communities, supported by hired mercenaries, made some headway in containing the Super Mutant threat, but attempts to dislodge them proved to be futile. The island’s natural defences, combined with the pollution and the crude fortifications established by its new inhabitants simply proved to be too much to overcome. Eventually, a sort of stalemate settled in. The Super Mutants could not be removed, but, at least for the time, their effect on the mainland was limited.

The next few decades saw the situation begin to swing more in favour of the Super Mutants, much to the distress of those around them. More of the creatures began to arrive in the Detroit region, and many of them gravitated towards Zug Island where they were welcomed by those present. As their numbers grew, the Super Mutants again became more aggressive, pushing out into the rest of the Detroit Wasteland.

In 2279, a group of nearby communities took the unprecedented step of trying to eliminate the Zug Island threat altogether. Hiring the Black Skull Company, they hoped that the mercenary force would be able to penetrate the island’s defences and kill the Super Mutants or, at the very least, drive them off. Instead, the Super Mutants proved to not only be better armed and organised then expected, but also have far greater numbers. The battle was a complete disaster for the Black Skull Company, which was forced to pull back with severe casualties while leaving the Super Mutants in control of the island.

The quest for Green Stuff

In early 2287, reports reached King Zug’s ears of an unusual discovery in the Detroit Wastelands. A Super Mutant patrol had discovered two humans talking about “green stuff” and captured them. However, the humans had died of a combination of injuries received in their capture and subsequent ones inflicted during their questioning before they were able to discover the location of the fabled substance.

The patrol returned to Zug Island and reported their discovery. King Zug immediately saw the possibilities inherent in this. With more of the fabled “green stuff”, he would no longer be limited to an ever-diminishing population that would eventually succumb to attrition. Rather, he could create more Super Mutants and take over the city itself, building a Super Mutant empire free form the puny humans that had opposed them.

However, first he had to find and secure the “green stuff”. To that end, he sent out patrols to aggressively search for it amongst the ruins of the city. While Super Mutants had always been a threat, now they were far more common and roaming further afield within the city and at the same time far more aggressive than before. Conflicts between humans and Super Mutants became more common as their actions became more aggressive and driven then ever before.

The Super Mutants aggressively pushed into the Detroit Wasteland, seeking to capture the mysterious Green Stuff and strengthen their numbers. These expeditions bought them into contact with numerous other inhabitants of the Detroit Wasteland, which eventually lead to attacks on both Park Lane and Grand Central. None of these missions discovered a source for the mysterious Green Stuff, but they did bring down the wrath of the Humans on the Mutants.

The Black Skull Company was sent to contain the Super Mutants, trying to isolate them and keep them away from the human settlements in the area. Having learned from their past mistakes, the Mercenaries avoided head-on confrontations with the Mutants, instead seeking to isolate their forces and take them down piecemeal. As the Mutants were operating outside of Zug Island, they could not rely on the defences that had defeated the Mercenaries in past.

Facing mounting losses, King Zug was forced to withdraw his troops back to Zug Island without having found any traces of the Green Stuff. This move was not met with massive support from his men, with many feeling ashamed that they had fled from ‘puny mans’. One of them, a particularly strong Super Mutant calling themselves Skullcrusher, chose to challenge King Zug, claiming that the King was no longer fit to lead. After a short but brutal battle, Skullcrusher was triumphant and crowned the new King Zug of Zug Island.


Zug Island

The wastelands of Zug Island

Zug Island is a roughly oblong-shaped island, separated from the Detroit mainland by a narrow, now debris-choked channel. Any original vegetation on the island is long gone, and today the only plants to be found there are straggly patches of brown grass growing up from the ruins. Similarly, there is no surviving wildlife on the island, save for the massive mutant Hounds found in the company of its inhabitants. The few open spaces on the island are the overgrown remnants of ore piles, railway yards or other industrial spaces.

Much of the island’s area is covered in the collapsed or at the very least, decayed remnants of pre-war industry, including an ore refinery and several factories. These buildings have fallen together, creating something of a maze that is easy for the unwary or unfamiliar to become lost in. The more intact buildings are used as shelter by the island’s inhabitants, and makeshift fortifications adorn their exteriors. The only access to the island comes from a pair of bridges that connect to the mainland, with one each on the east and west sides.

The rampant and unchecked pre-war industrialisation of the island left it heavily polluted, a legacy that lingers to this day. The soil is heavily contaminated by waste and by-products, and cannot sustain most plant life. Similarly, the water was polluted by runoff and untreated effluent, as well as contaminants leaching from the ground. Finally, the island is still somewhat radioactively hot, the result of the weapons used on or around it during the war.

Despite its decayed condition and heavily polluted environment (or perhaps because of it), rumours persist that there is some high-tech pre-war structure hidden under the island that has remained more or less intact and untouched over the centuries. The nature of this structure varies, but the most common stories are that it is a pre-war weapons research facility. Others suggest that it might be a Vault, but this is unlikely given the marshy ground that Zug Island sits on.


Zug Island is inhabited by the so-called Zug Island Tribe, an aggressive colony of Super Mutants. Having settled on the island in the early 23rd century, the mutants have resisted every effort to displace them so far. While they have no way to increase their population naturally, the Tribe’s numbers have been kept aloft by subsequent waves of immigration from smaller Super Mutant groups. No accurate headcount of the population is available, given that they are aggressively hostile to any who approach their territory.

King Zug of Zug Island

King Zug of Zug Island

With no capability to feed themselves due to the island’s heavily polluted nature (and little inclination towards agriculture anyway) the Zug Island Tribe support themselves through raiding expeditions into the mainland. These expeditions will target whatever humans or animals are available to them and bring them back to the island for food. The Super Mutants are somewhat indiscriminate about their selection, and will just as readily attack settlements as they would raiders, scavengers, traders or those who just happen to be there at the time.

Like many super mutants, the Zug Island tribe demonstrate an inconsistent level of technology and technical skill. Many of its members use only simple or improvised melee weapons. Others will use scavenged firearms, from scratch-built pipe guns to sophisticated laser rifles. Conversely, aside from a few automated turrets, the mutants have shown no ability to repair or maintain the various high-tech systems left in the island’s ruins.

The leader of the tribe is King Zug of Zug Island. A hereditary title, it belongs to the strongest Super Mutant in the tribe. In theory, any member of the tribe can challenge the current king to a battle to the death for the title and position. In practice, the acknowledgement of the king’s strength due to their position and full awareness of the consequences of a failed challenge means that such battles are rare.

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